Many employers have a confidentiality policy which prohibits employees from openly discussing terms of their employment, including wages and hours. However, such broad confidentiality provisions violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (“NLRA“). It is important to note that the NLRA is not only applicable to workplaces with unions, so there is no limited application to members of a union.
Pursuant to Section 7 of the NLRA, employees have a right to discuss wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment with their coworkers, and other non-employees. If an employer has a confidentiality policy that specifically prohibits discussion of the terms and conditions of employment (wages, hours, or workplace complaints) or that employees would reasonably understand to prohibit such discussions, then it violates the NLRA.
Some examples of unlawful confidentiality policies include: (1) broad prohibitions against discussing “employee information” outside of work; (2) employees cannot disclose “details about the employer,” “information that is not public;” (3) banning the disclosure of confidential information which is defined to include information that could adversely affect the employer’s interests, image, and reputation.
If your employer has a policy against openly discussing the terms and conditions of your employment, including your wages, hours, etc., then you should consult with attorneys that handle NLRA issues. Furthermore, if you have been disciplined because you discussed your wages or hours with a coworker or a third party, then you should speak with our Ohio employment lawyers immediately to determine what, if anything, they can do to assist you. If the preceding information seems to fit your situation, you may have a claim under the NLRA and you should speak with our attorneys immediately. Call our office today at 1-614-949-1181 for a FREE consultation with Columbus employment attorneys regarding your employer’s confidentiality policies or any discipline you have received because you discussed wages, hour, or other terms of your employment.