Red Cross confidentiality policy ruled too broad

NLRB continues its campaign against far-reaching policies that could chill protected speech

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) may be in a state of limbo, but employers still have reason to be concerned about how the board will view their policies, as demonstrated by a decision this week that found that a Toledo, Ohio American Red Cross unit’s confidentiality clauses were too broad.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union accused the Red Cross of deterring workers from collective action with its employee handbook, code of conduct and “Confidential Information and Intellectual Property Agreement.” The union, along with the NLRB’s acting general counsel, argued that employees could reasonably construe these policies, which prohibited sharing “personnel information” with other workers or outside the company, as barring them from discussing wages and other conditions of their employment. An administrative law judge agreed, finding the policies unenforceable and ordering the Red Cross to rescind them.

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.