The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has increased its focus on employer policies and practices – nonunion and union alike – that could be read to “chill” employees’ rights to engage in protected, concerted activity. 

Hot button issues, based on a recent NLRB General Counsel Memo issued last month, include: 

  • whether employees should have a right to use an employer’s email system for union organizing or other protected concerted activity
  • whether nonunion employees have a right to have a co-worker representative present during investigatory interviews that may potentially lead to discipline, and
  • the extent to which employees of subcontractors working on another employer’s property should have access to the property for purpose of union organizing or other protected concerted activity.

At-will policies, social media policies, policies that prohibit negative comments about the company, coworkers or supervisors, and policies requiring employees to keep investigations confidential are also still on the NLRB radar.  The NLRB reviews policies with an eye toward whether they could be seen to discourage employees from discussing or working together with regard to employment terms and conditions.

I will be speaking, along with my colleague, Pete Dagostine, about all of these NLRB initiatives at an upcoming Robinson & Cole webinar on April 29th from Noon – 1:00 p.m.  The webinar will cover the most recent updates on current federal labor law initiatives and recent National Labor Relations Board decisions. The legislative climate and status of federal labor law revisions will be discussed and analyzed with practical tips for employers to consider, including hot button issues that could significantly impact operations.  If you are interested in listening in, you may Register here.  The webinar is free of charge with audio/visual equipment.