WATCH THIS NLRB CASE
The NLRB just issued a decision that should have a significant impact on how federal agencies investigate their own employees. The Board confronted a situation where an employer was investigating an employee misconduct matter and instructed each employee it interviewed to not tell anyone else about the investigation. Federal agency managers and investigators have been known to do the same thing on more than one occasion.
The Board told the employer that it violates law to have a blanket rule against employees discussing a working condition matter, namely potential discipline, with other employees. The National Labor Relations Act, like the federal sector labor law guarantees employees the right to organize for their mutual aid and protection. If you encounter a similar situation in your unit you might want to make the same argument to break management’s gag orders. In fact, it seems as if the union would have the right to bargain specialized impact and implementation matters when management does choose to impose a gag order.
To read more about this decision, check out this web site story from the LITTLER law firm.