September 25, 2023

NLRB Ruling Means Companies Should Review All Employee Behavior Policies

As Connecting the Dots reported at the time, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision that will put at risk employers’ common sense workplace policies. Under the NLRB’s new framework, a workplace rule is now unlawful if the rule can be “reasonably construed to chill employees from exercising their right” to unionize. Additionally, the burden is now on the employer to show the work rule is narrowly tailored to protect its substantial and legitimate business interests.

Brian Balonick, an attorney with Fisher Phillips in Pittsburgh, told the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), “The main takeaway is that employers should review all policies that regulate employee behavior and conduct in light of the business purpose the employer wants to achieve through the policy. Carefully defining the business purpose will help employers craft specific policies that meet a specific business purpose.”

In a briefing available here, SHRM offers advice for rewriting these policies, including example language.

The Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which MSCI is a member of, said the NLRB’s “decision makes it nearly impossible for employers across the country to provide safe, hostile-free workplaces for workers.” It will be important to have well-crafted language.

Read more here and here.

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