Labor & Employment Law | Gossip At Work
April 23, 2014
NLRB strikes down hospital's rule prohibiting negativity and gossip among employees.
In its continuing trend to foray into non-union workplaces, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) struck down another neutral and common employment policy.
On April 1, 2014, in Hills and Dales Gen. Hosp., 360 N.L.R.B. No. 70, the Board held that a portion of a Michigan Hospital’s “Values and Standards of Behavior” policy was unlawful and ordered the Hospital to revise or rescind the offending sections.
The Hospital’s rules did not explicitly restrict protected employee activity nor was there any evidence that the Hospital made statements or engaged in conduct that linked the rules to protected employee activity. Nonetheless, the Board found portions of the Policy unlawful reasoning that employees could reasonably construe the language as prohibiting protected activity - employees’ right to engage in concerted activity for their mutual aid and protection.