Do NOT Ban Employees From Discussing
Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA")
in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage
collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor
and management practices which can harm the general welfare of
workers, businesses and the U.S. economy. The law is administered
by a 5 member panel in Washington D.C. known as the National Labor
Relations Board (NLRB). While the primary focus of the law is to
deal with collective bargaining (Unions), there is a little known
section which deals with what the law refers to as “Protected
Concerted Activity”, also known as Section VII rights. In
Section VII of the NLRA, employees are given the right to engage
in discussions among themselves concerning wages, benefits, salaries
or other terms and conditions of employment.
Although this law has been in effect since 1935, a surprising
number of employers still attempt to prohibit employees from discussing
their compensation among themselves. The NLRB has repeatedly held
that non-supervisory employee discussions of compensation fall
under the Protected Concerted Activity clause of Section VII. An
employer who terminates, or otherwise disciplines, employees for
discussing wages among themselves has therefore broken the law
and will be subject to fines, penalties and possible other sanctions.
However, please remember that the law protects not only the discussion
of wagers, but also other terms and conditions of employment such
- Two or more employees addressing their employer about
improving their pay.
- Two or more employees discussing work-related
issues beyond pay, such as safety concerns, with each other.
employee speaking to an employer on behalf of one or more co-workers
about improving workplace conditions.
Attempts by employers to stifle these
employee conversations will inevitably result in difficult legal
claims as well as continuing disruption among employees who might
be subject to this type of employer rule or policy.
Paul Hilton Human Resources Consulting works with our clients to insure that all required documentation is correct and sufficient to successfully defend against a claim to any unemployment compensation commission.
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