Whether your company is unionized or not, there are certain protections all employees have under the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A strongly defended yet often misunderstood protected right is concerted activity, an employee's discussion of or protest against working conditions. Below are three scenarios employers must handle carefully:
- Policies against discussing pay. According to the NLRB, employees discussing pay amongst themselves, including disclosure of their own pay rates, is a protected activity and cannot be punishable. Handbooks should not include policies against discussing pay.
- Complaints about working conditions. When speaking on behalf of him or herself plus at least one other worker, employees have NLRB protection in approaching their supervisors to discuss workplace issues and improve working conditions.
- Social media policies. A recent case makes this somewhat unclear territory. An employee was terminated after posting critical remarks about her supervisor on her Facebook page. The NLRB stepped in to deem this protected concerted activity. Since the parties settled the case out of court, the outcome did not set a clear precedent on how companies are allowed to handle social media. Until a clear precedent is set, Nextep has a carefully crafted Social Media Policy that protects the company as well as the employee's NLRB rights.
For more information, please contact Nextep's HR Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-811-5150.