In a case involving Hills and Dales General Hospital in Michigan, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) struck down the hospital’s policy prohibiting employees from participating in or listening to gossip, concluding that such policy could prevent employees from discussing legitimate work issues. According to the NLRB’s order issued on April 1st, [t]his is the standard remedy to assure that employees may engage in protected activity without fear of being subjected to an unlawful rule. This case is just the latest in which the NLRB took employers to task for common provisions of employee handbooks. Thus, we urge employers to avoid overly broad provisions that could be reasonably construed to prohibit protected conduct.
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