Do your policies and/or employee handbook forbid your employees from sharing information about their own wage and benefit packages with other employees? If so, it’s important to note that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) has a different opinion and your health care facility might be found in violation by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). As a consultant providing services to health care organizations on matters of human resources and health care compliance, I often find employers with policies that put them at risk.
The NLRB is responsible for the oversight of the NLRA. Under Section 7 of the NLRA, employers are not allowed to circumvent their employees’ rights to organize. Section 8 further supports the employee’s right to organize by prohibiting employers from creating policies that prevent them from holding discussions away from the workplace about their salary and benefit packages. Policies prohibiting discussion of an employee’s salary and benefits with other employees is a direct violation. While this does not give an employee the right to make publicly disparaging comments, employers are cautioned to review their policies and/or employee handbooks and remove any language suggestive of such enforcement activity.
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