The National Labor Relations Board has issued a decision in favor of employees who talk negatively about their employers.
The employer in the case had a policy that prohibited “Statements either oral or in writing, which are intended to injure the reputation of the Company or its management personnel with customers or employees.”
The NLRB found the rule unlawful, holding that:
“The rule’s prohibition against statements to other employees ‘that are intended to injure the reputation of the Company or its management personnel’ significantly restricts Section 7 rights [of the National Labor Relations Act]. ‘It is axiomatic that discussing terms and conditions of employment with coworkers lies at the heart of protected Section 7 activity.’”
The NLRB continued:
“Such discussions are often inseparably linked to complaints about the employer itself and the managers who establish and enforce those terms and conditions . . . The rule thus potentially interferes with the exercise of the right to engage in activities that lie at the core of Section 7 of the Act. No justification outweighs this significant impairment of Section 7 rights.”