The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued decisions against companies whose at will employment statements restricted activity that might be protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA.)
If your organization’s employment-at-will policy states that no one has the authority to change an employee’s at will employment, or that the policy itself cannot ever be modified, you will want to revise your policy as soon as possible to at least give one official or member of your executive team the authority to potentially modify the policy. Otherwise, you are violating an employee’s right to organize and potentially form a collective bargaining agreement.
The NLRB also concluded that strictly confidential investigations in the workplace may interfere with an employee’s right to protected and concerted activity by employees sharing concerns with their co-workers. As a result, they recommend considering confidentiality on a case by case basis when conducting investigations and amending your handbook to reflect this change.
While you are at it, you should review your confidentiality policies to ensure they do not violate an employee’s right to discuss working conditions.
Finally, be sure to review your social media policy. The NLRB has also found guilty those companies that have policies which state employees are not permitted to bad mouth or discuss their employer in social media. Regulators have concluded that this wording impedes an employee’s right to complain about working conditions with co-workers.