- New Standards for Employee Handbooks
- February 13, 2018 | Authors: Eve B. Masinter; Jerry L. Stovall; Rachael M. Coe; Jacob E. Roussel; Murphy J. Foster; John T. Andrishok; Leo C. Hamilton; E. Fredrick Preis; Rachael Jeanfreau; Melissa M. Shirley; Steven B. Loeb
- Law Firms: Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office; Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
The National Labor Relations Board overruled the "Lutheran Heritage" precedent in a case involving Boeing's maintenance of a "no-camera" rule. In 2004, the Lutheran Heritage case barred neutrally worded employee handbook rules that could be "reasonably construed" by an employee to prohibit rights provided under the National Labor Relations Act. The Board established a new test in place of the Lutheran Heritage "reasonably construe[d]" standard. The new test will focus on the nature and extent of the potential impact on NLRA rights and the legitimate justifications in association with the rule. There will be three tiers to provide "greater clarity." The categories are as follows:
1. Category 1 are rules that cannot be reasonably interpreted to have infringed NLRA rights or rules that can be sufficiently justified by the employer.
2. Category 2 are rules that "warrant individualized scrutiny" to determine whether they infringed on NLRA rights.3. Category 3 are rules that the "Board will designate" as unlawful to have on the books like rules prohibiting disucssion of wages and benefits among employees.