Off-Duty Access Policy in Handbook Struck Down by NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board struck down an off-duty access policy in a nursing home’s handbook that prohibited employees from hanging around after work unless they had previous permission from their supervisors because it violated employees’ Section 7 rights of the National Labor Relations Act. As written, the rule provided supervisors with unlimited discretion to determine permissible access for off-duty employees, and this discretion could be used to deny workers from remaining (or returning) to work to engage in union organizing activities.

Over the past few years, the Board has consistently found off-duty access rules that allow access for some purposes and denies it for others violates the Act. For example, grocery stores, restaurants, and health clubs that allow workers to return to shop, eat, and exercise, must allow workers to return for other purposes, as well.