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Your Employee Matters


By November 1, 2008No Comments

Every employer wants to, and should, keep confidential information just that. In an effort to do so, companies use employee handbook provisions, contracts, passwords and access codes, locked file drawers and so on. What many employers forget is that because of the breadth of these protective documents, any employer can run up against the National Labor Relations Act Rule which allows employees to discuss with the wages, hours and other terms and conditions of their employment. As the NLRB stated in a recent case, “The ultimate question in these cases is whether employees reading these rules, would reasonably construe the rule as precluding them from discussing their terms and conditions of their employment with other employees or a union or that they reasonably understand that the rule was designed to protect their employer’s legitimate proprietary interests.” As the board has further stated, “It makes no difference whether the employees were asked not to discuss their wage rate or ordered not to do so. Nor does it matter if the rule was unenforced… In the absence of any business justification for the rule, it is an unlawful restraint on the rights protected by Section 7 of the Act and violated by Section 8A.”

Learn more about “protected activities” here.