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NLRB Challenges Employee Handbook Policies: How Employers can Mitigate the Risk of Litigation

Employee Handbooks: The Biggest Compliance Changes in 2023!

Employers will need to think carefully about how to defend some of their corporate policies, such as ones about cameras at a worksite, social media use, and appropriate workplace conduct, in light of a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

In Stericycle, an administrative law judge found that the employer violated the NLRA by maintaining certain policies for its employees that addressed personal conduct, conflicts of interest, and confidentiality of harassment complaints. The NLRB announced a new standard for whether work rules violate the NLRA and sent the case back to the judge to consider the ruling in light of the new standard.

Under that standard, if an employee could reasonably interpret the work rule to have a coercive meaning, the NLRB general counsel would have met her burden to prove that the rule has a reasonable tendency to chill employees from exercising their NLRA rights.

A code of conduct or other Employee Handbook policies will certainly be impacted by this decision. Other impacted policies would be nondisclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements, any policies requiring respectful conduct, or policies regulating social media use.

Learn how Employers should review and make changes to their Employee Handbook policies to comply with the NLRB Rules and avoid allegations of violations of Concerted Activity Laws.

The NLRB enforces the National Labor Relations Act, which gives both unionized and non-union employees certain rights in the workplace. Find out how the changes at the NLRB may affect your company and why you might want to start making changes in your Employee Handbook now.

What You will Learn

- How the NLRA and the NLRB impact employee handbook policies.
- How the recent changes will pose a risk to Employers.
- How the NLRB interprets the policies of Employers.
- What Role the NLRA and the NLRB have on non-union employees.
- How the Stericycle case decision will impact how Employers will interpret NLRB enforcement.
- How employees can have leverage over Employers based on Employee Handbook policies on disciplinary actions involving employee workplace behaviors.
- What policies are at risk to violate the new NLRB Laws.
- How Employers can mitigate these changes and stay compliant.
- How you can prepare for the changes before you are violated for non-compliance.
- How policies impacting confidentiality and communication have to be adjusted to avoid litigation.
- Which policies should be revised immediately.

Why You Should Attend

Employers should also "immediately review their policies and handbooks to determine if any of their existing policies could reasonably be interpreted by employees as chilling their right to engage in concerted activities and consider adding disclaimers that the policies are not intended to restrict employees' rights under the NLRA.

The new rule applies retroactively, so even those employee handbooks drafted and implemented before the Stericycle decision are subject to this heightened level of scrutiny.

The NLRA protects "concerted activities" that employees engage in to improve working conditions. What is Concerted Activity and Why Should Employers Care?

Protected Concerted Activity is a legal term used in labor policy to define employee protection against employer retaliation in the United States. The term defines the activities workers may partake in without fear of employer retaliation.

Who will Benefit

- All Private Employers
- Business Owners
- Company Leadership
- Compliance professionals
- HR Professionals
- Managers
- Supervisors
- Private Employers in all industries
- Small Business Owners
- Large Business Owners


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