Unlawful to Require Confidentiality of “Human Resources Related Information”

According to an Administrative Law Judge, a Washington state company did not violate the National Labor Relations Act by requiring its employees to maintain the confidentiality of “human resources related information” and “investigations by outside agencies (formal and informal), as well as supplier lists, prices, and marketing plans.” But on appeal, the NLRB overruled the ALJ and held that the company violated Section 8(a)(1) when it required employees to sign a confidentiality agreement that prohibited them from discussing their employment conditions or participating in work-related complaints or investigations. Keeping up with what is and is not permitted in handbooks, workplace policies, employee agreements and the like is becoming a near impossible task.

Matt Austin is a lawyer based in the Columbus, Ohio office of Roetzel & Andress, LPA who limits his practice to representing employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can call Matt at (614) 723-2010 or email him at maustin@ralaw.com.

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