Tag: employee rights
While much is being made about the NLRB aggressively enforcing Section 7 and 8 employee rights, the fact is the California Labor Code, and maybe that your state as well, carries similar provisions:
232. No employer may do any of the following:
(a) Require, as a condition of employment, that an employee refrain from disclosing the amount of his or her wages.
(b) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose the amount of his or her wages.
(c) Discharge, formally discipline, or otherwise discriminate against an employee who discloses the amount of his or her wages.
232.5. No employer may do any of the following:
(a) Require, as a condition of employment, that an employee refrain from disclosing information about the employer’s working conditions.
(b) Require an employee to sign a waiver or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose information about the employer’s working conditions.
(c) Discharge, formally discipline, or otherwise discriminate against an employee who discloses information about the employer’s working conditions.
(d) This section is not intended to permit an employee to disclose proprietary information, trade secret information, or information that is otherwise subject to a legal privilege without the consent of his or her employer.
Bottom line: If an employee complains about working conditions talk to a lawyer before you reprimand or fire them!
Fact is many people in the HR role do not do the job full-time and very often do little or no proactive compliance efforts. One way to begin learning these laws is to watch or read the info generated by the government and lawyers on behalf of employees. For example, the DOL has just released and employee video education series. Minimum wage, regular pay, overtime, off-the-clock, child labor, independent contractor, migrant worker and how to file a claim videos are presented. We have training on each of these subjects for employers on HR That Works. A few more:
- OSHA on how they conduct inspections: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/video/oshainspection/video.html
- Resources on workplace violence: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/evaluation.html
- Memos and more on discrimination: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/index.cfm
- Overtime: http://www.dol.gov/compliance/topics/wages-overtime-pay.htm#.UKErLobNnsk
- The plaintiffs lawyers association: http://www.nela.org/NELA/
Those are just a few examples. Where the government has done a good job of creating materials (like in the health and safety area) we have pointed to those tools on HR That Works too.
Bottom line: Don’t let your employees know more than you do about the law!
The National Labor Relations Board has agreed to postpone the effective date of its employee rights notice-posting rule at the request of the federal court in Washington, DC hearing a legal challenge regarding the rule. The Board’s ruling states that it has determined that postponing the effective date of the rule would facilitate the resolution of the legal challenges that have been filed with respect to the rule. The new implementation date is April 30, 2012.
Most private sector employers will be required to post the 11-by-17-inch notice on the new implementation date of April 30. The notice is available at no cost from the NLRB through its website, www.nlrb.gov, which has additional information on posting requirements and NLRB jurisdiction.
The National Labor Relations Board today issued a final regulation that will require nearly all private-sector employers to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. According to the NLRB press release, the final rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register on August 30 and will take effect 75 days after publication. The NLRB states that the required notice will be available at no charge from regional offices or can be downloaded from its website on or before November 1.
This rule was initially proposed last Spring. The NLRB received over 7000 comments regarding the proposed rule. According to the press release, the final rule does reflect some modest revisions suggested by the comments submitted in response to publication of the proposed rule.
With the exception of agricultural, railroad, and airline employers, nearly every employer in the country will be expected to comply with the final rule. There are some minor exceptions for very small entities that have a negligible impact upon interstate commerce, and the United States Postal Service has been exempted from coverage because of the unique requirements it is subject to pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act. The final rule is quite similar to a rule published by the Department of Labor that requires federal contractors to post a notice of employee rights under the NLRA. Federal contractors that comply with the DOL rule will not have to post a separate notice pursuant to the NLRB rule.
Employers will be expected to publish the notice where other federal notices are posted in the workplace. In addition, employers that distribute personnel policies and procedures by means of Internet or Intranet sites will be required to post the NLRB notice there also. If 20% or more of the workforce speaks a foreign language, the employer must also post a notice in that language. According to the NLRB press release, the NLRB will make available notices in various languages.
One obvious consequence of posting this notice is that your employees will be better informed about their rights to organize. This suggests that it is more important than ever to know the signs of union organizing activity and what steps you can — and cannot — take in response to union organizing efforts.
Article courtesy of Worklaw Network firm Elarbee Thompson Sapp Wilson (www.elarbeethompson.com)