Last December, the NLRB recently established a new standard for determining the lawfulness of facially neutral employee handbook policies that “may” restrict the exercise of an employee’s NLRA rights. As more fully discussed in our prior post, in Boeing Company the NLRB rejected its previous standard for reviewing employer rules and replaced it with a balancing test. The NLRB also established three different categories of rules that it would examine in future decisions. In creating the categories, however, the NLRB gave few examples of the types of rules that may fall into each category.
To provide clarity on the new standard, NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb (R) has now issued a 20-page Guidance on Handbook Rulings Post-Boeing. In an overall victory for employers, the GC emphasizes that post-Boeing, ambiguities in employer work rules and handbook policies will no longer be interpreted against employers. Instead of analyzing whether a work rule could be interpreted as restricting employee NLRA rights, the new standard will only prohibit work rules that would be so interpreted.
Examples Of Category 1 Rules Deemed Lawful
In the Guidance, the GC provides multiple examples of rules said to fall into Category 1. Importantly, many of these common work rules previously had come under intense scrutiny by the Obama NLRB as potentially “chilling” employee NLRA rights. Now, the GC has directed NLRB regional offices not to issue ULP complaints for rules such as: Continue Reading