Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), non-supervisory private sector employees have a right to discuss their pay and other terms and conditions of employment with their fellow employees and with union organizers. A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Quicken Loans Inc. v. NLRB, upheld these rights. The Court agreed with the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that Quicken could not require its mortgage bankers to sign agreements prohibiting their disclosure of any confidential information, including information about their pay.
Section 7 of the NLRA guarantees employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” These Section 7 protections go beyond protecting employees trying to organize a union. The protection extends to actions by two or more employees who are engaging in activity related to the terms or conditions of their employment. So when employees believe they are not getting paid enough and discuss among themselves what they are earning, those discussions are protected, even if there is no union involved. Similarly, if employees, such as the Quicken employees, are being required to sign confidentiality agreements that they understand to prohibit them from discussing their wages or other terms or conditions of employment, such agreements violate the NLRA.
If you believe your employer has a work rule or requires signing an agreement that violates these NLRA’s protections, Hawks Quindel’s labor attorneys can review the facts of your case and provide you with guidance regarding your rights under the NLRA or other relevant state and federal law.
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