The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has held that an employer’s efforts to protect the integrity of its internal investigations by instructing employees involved in the investigations not to discuss the matter with co-workers violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The Board held that the employer’s generalized concern with protecting the integrity of its investigations was insufficient to outweigh its employees’ Section 7 rights to engage in protected concerted activities. According to the NLRB, to justify such a prohibition, an employer is required to make an individualized assessment of each investigation to determine whether:
1. any witnesses need protection;
2. evidence is in danger of being destroyed;
3. testimony is in danger of being fabricated, or
4. there is a need to prevent a cover up.
We will be contacting our clients to provide further information on the need to alter existing policies and practices.
Please contact us at www.hwelaw.com if you have questions regarding this article or if we can be of assistance.