The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is an under-utilized law protecting union and non-union employee rights. Many employers do not realize that it applies to them, but the NLRA actually applies to just about every private employer whether or not your workplace is unionized. Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer to “interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7 of the NLRA.” Section 7 rights include the rights of employees to discuss, debate, and communicate with each other regarding their employment terms and conditions of employment.
Employers should be aware that their employee handbooks could be seen as violating the law if any handbook provision could reasonably be interpreted to dissuade employees from discussing work conditions. Read our recent Workplace Law Tips Newsletter to learn about several common employee handbook policies the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may consider to be illegal.