Spotlight for Recruiting ProfessionalsNovember 7, 2012
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released an analysis of at-will employment clauses in two employee handbooks, finding that both are lawful under the National Labor Relations Act.
Charges filed with the NLRB alleged that the handbooks defined at-will employment so broadly that employees would reasonably think they could not engage in activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). However, NLRB found that they were not overly broad.
In two memos about the cases (http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d4580d6f56d and http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d4580d6f56e), NLRB explains that an employer violates the act by maintaining work rules or policies that explicitly prohibit union or concerted activity—such as joining a union or discussing terms and conditions of employment with co-workers—that is protected by the NLRA. Even if not explicit, a rule can be unlawful if employees would reasonably construe the language to prohibit such activity.
The memos are provided as guidance for employers and human resource professionals.
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