Understanding Protected Concerted Activity

Beth Dean 07.25.23

NLRA Protections: They’re Not Just for Unions

In the intricate fabric of company dynamics, employee protections exist, even in non-unionized companies, as granted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). These protections give employees the freedom to engage in open discussions on various workplace matters, even those conversations that may make employers a tad uneasy.

The key lies in recognizing and respecting the concept of protected concerted activity, which allows employees to collaborate and work collectively to improve their working conditions. Let’s explore three examples together:

Wage Transparency Among Employees 

This one can be a real challenge for employers. The inclination to keep employee pay rates under wraps often prevails. However, pay discrepancies among employees with similar roles and expertise may hint at underlying issues such as discrimination. Here’s the scoop: according to the NLRA, employees have the right to discuss their compensation openly. Employers can’t punish or forbid these discussions. It’s the law.

Addressing Working Conditions Concerns 

Navigating the treacherous waters of employee complaints about working conditions can be daunting. We all know that one employee who persistently complains, leaving a wake of low morale in their path. But then, there’s the employee who brings up legitimate concerns about unsafe working conditions. The NLRA takes notice. It pays attention to the nature of these complaints, weighing whether they reflect valid indictments on the company and if the employee speaks on behalf of additional coworkers. It’s all about fostering fairness and safe working conditions, you see.

Social Media Rants 

Ah, the digital age, where airing dirty laundry on Facebook seems all too tempting. Of course, employers prefer not to be bashed on social media platforms for obvious reasons. But if a post sheds light on unfair or unsafe business practices, it may very well be protected by the NLRA. Here’s the catch: NLRA protection extends to valid grievances, not mere malicious intent. A post like “My boss is so ugly” likely won’t receive NLRA protection. But, a heartfelt rant about the unbearable heatstroke-inducing uniforms might be allowable.

To delve deeper into the intricacies of NLRA protections and align your company policies accordingly, we urge you to contact our HR experts. They’re equipped with the knowledge to guide you through this terrain, fostering an environment of compliance and understanding.

By embracing NLRA protections, employers sow the seeds of trust and open communication. They create a workplace where collaboration thrives, resulting in a more harmonious and prosperous future.

Also on Nextep

March 1, 2024 is Employee Appreciation Day! Every year, businesses across the globe take a moment to pause and honor the backbone of their success: their employees. Employee Appreciation Day, usually celebrated on the first Friday of March, is a chance to express sincere gratitude and show these hardworking individuals how much they mean.  Appreciating […]
Read more
Remember that new independent contractor rule coming soon? It’s the one that makes it harder for businesses to call a worker a “contractor.” As a reminder, that big change kicks in March 11, 2024. Why should you care? More workers might become employees. This means benefits like minimum wage, health insurance eligibility, paid time off, […]
Read more
What Businesses Need to Know Last week, we discussed collaborating with employees who request religious accommodations during Ramadan. This week, we’ll look at some of the nuts and bolts of religious accommodations at work and the impact of last year’s Supreme Court case, Groff v. DeJoy. The Groff v. DeJoy decision, as we covered when […]
Read more
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and reflection for Muslims, begins on Sunday, March 10, 2024, and end on Tuesday, April 9. As an employer, understanding your Muslim employees’ needs during this time fosters a supportive and inclusive workplace.  It’s important to consider that rejecting flexible requests without a valid reason could be seen as […]
Read more
Big Change for Gig Work and More The Department of Labor (DOL) has revised its rules for classifying workers as independent contractors, making it more difficult for businesses to do so.  Effective March 11, 2024, this change impacts workers across the US and could have significant implications for businesses of all sizes. New rules make […]
Read more
Essential Updates for Employers in the New Year Heads up, employers: there are several new workplace laws and regulations in 2024.  The new year is just around the corner, bringing a wave of changes for employers nationwide. These regulations aim to create a fair and supportive work environment that attracts and retains top talent. Federal […]
Read more
Ah, the holiday season—a time for joy, festivities, and the age-old puzzle of compensating your employees. Let’s demystify the rules of holiday pay for both our hourly (nonexempt) and salaried (exempt) workers. For the Hourly Heroes Picture your business decked out in holiday cheer, but your nonexempt employees are sipping cocoa at home. Under the […]
Read more
Keep Your Party Pants Professional As the year ends, and you’ve achieved feats at work that deserve a standing ovation, the holiday office party is your well-earned, much-awaited reward.  But beware! When the festive spirit meets the allure of a bottomless drink supply, things can take a wild turn, leaving you nursing a hangover, regret, […]
Read more
We’ve talked recently about the importance of sustainability in business. Let’s take it a step further and look at ESG, or Environmental, Social, and Governance.  The Impact of ESG on Companies Environmental (E) Companies that focus on their environmental impact are making a positive change. They reduce their carbon footprint, use clean energy, and find […]
Read more
Sustainable business isn’t just for hippies! As we discussed in our previous article, sustainability is increasingly important to today’s business. It is a crucial and relevant issue that affects everyone and every organization, regardless of industry or beliefs. Sustainability involves taking a long-term, holistic view of how we interact with the environment and our communities, […]
Read more
At Nextep, we aim to stay informed about CEO concerns in order to better help with problem-solving. We were surprised to learn that sustainability has become a top concern. The statistics bring CEO concerns to light: A Gartner survey found that CEO concern about sustainability has increased 292% from their 2021-22 survey. In a survey […]
Read more
It’s not the most savory of topics, but still merits discussion. All of your employees will need to use the bathroom during work. Here’s a potty primer, if you will. Disability and Bathrooms The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has clear regulations on bathroom accessibility in the workplace. Much of the guidance revolves around making […]
Read more

Download Our App

Download the Nextep Mobile App in Apple iOS or Google Play