New NLRB Employer Handbook and Policy Standards - Presentation
On August 2, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board adopted strict new standards for gauging the validity of an employer's written policies.
Under the new standards, employer polices (such as handbook language) are presumptively unlawful if any employee planning to engage in protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act could reasonably interpret the policy to prohibit, or retaliate against, such conduct.
An employer may justify presumptively unlawful policies by showing a legitimate business justification, but the employer must also show that there are no other reasonable alternatives.
The new standard returns to policy first adopted during the Obama administration and rejected by a subsequent Republican-majority Board. Only time will tell whether further reversals may occur depending on the outcome of future elections.
The August 2 decision in Stericycle, Inc. can be downloaded here.
We discuss the new standards, policies likely to be affected, different NLRB General Counsel's guidance, and strategies for compliance in a presentation to PASCO (the Professional Association of Sonoma County) during its 2023 Annual HR Conference in Santa Rosa, California. A .pdf copy of the PowerPoint presentation and embedded links can be viewed here.