NLRB Ruling Complicates Employers' Internal Investigations
In a ruling that affects both union and non-union employers, the National Labor Relations Board held that an employer must establish a specific legitimate business justification for requiring employees to maintain confidentiality during internal investigations of employee complaints. In Banner Health System d/b/a Banner Estrella Medical Center, 358 N.L.R.B. No. 93 (2012), the Board, by a 2 to 1 majority, held that an employer may not maintain a blanket rule prohibiting employees from discussing ongoing investigations of employee misconduct. According to the Board, such a rule violates Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which protects employees' rights to engage in "concerted activities" for their mutual aid and protection, regardless of whether the employees belong to a union. The Board's decision continues its recent trend of invalidating common employer practices and policies on the stated grounds of protecting Section 7 rights. To learn more about the decision and its potential implications for employers, please continue reading Littler's ASAP, Mum's Not Necessarily the Word: NLRB Complicates Employers' Internal Investigations, by John Skonberg, Earl "Chip" Jones III, and Gregory Brown.