Employee Manuals and Policies: Changes in NLRB Positions and Colorado Law

Among other significant employee-favorable or union-favorable actions, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has in the past year taken positions related to restrictions on employee communications that are in significant conflict with past NLRB positions on those issues. The result is that some companies have had actions brought, or threatened, against them by the NLRB for violation of federal labor law based on adverse actions taken against employees, and even just related to policies in their employee manuals. And, that includes some companies that do not have any union employees. The policies that were determined by the NLRB to be in violation of the law included policies that were typical in employee manuals prior to this year. The challenged restrictions have included restrictions related to employee e-mail or text messages to other employees, or posted on social media pages, concerning non-confidential information (such as complaints about their supervisors); and even restrictions on disclosing confidential information as stated in employee manuals.

If your company has an employee manual: Unless your company’s employee manual has been reviewed and revised this year by someone knowledgeable of the NLRB’s actions/positions related to employee communications, one or more policies the same as, or similar to, one of those challenged policies is likely in your company’s employee manual.

Also, there have been new Colorado laws related to employees enacted during the last few years. Therefore, if your company’s employee manual has not been reviewed and revised this year by someone knowledgeable of the new laws, your company’s employee manual might have one or more policies that are in conflict with one or more Colorado statutes. Or, your company’s employee manual might not address one or more of those Colorado law requirements that are applicable to your company.

If your company does not have an employee manual: Your company’s employee policies (written or oral) might need to be modified to be consistent with the new positions of the NLRB and/or Colorado laws. In addition, I recommend that your company have an employee manual prepared and distributed to its employees.

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I can review and provide you with suggested revisions of your company’s employee manual and/or your company’s employee policies not in an employee manual, to try to avoid having conflicts with the current NLRB positions concerning employee communications, and to avoid having conflicts with Colorado law or to address applicable Colorado laws not addressed in your company’s employee manual. Or, if applicable, I can prepare an employee manual for your company,

Please contact Dan Block at 303-297-2600 or at dblock@rwolaw.com, if you would like assistance.

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