The NLRB ruled that during a company investigation of any worker misconduct, employees interviewed by the company may be prohibited from talking to other workers about information discussed in those meetings.
Companies, however, may not restrict workers after the company concludes the investigation, unless the company can show a compelling reason for such a restriction. Additionally, the company cannot restrict what is said by workers who were not interviewed during the investigation.
In the case the NLRB ruled on, a retail store attempted to prevent workers from talking to each other about management’s investigation of possible worker theft. The NLRB made clear in this ruling that during company investigations, workers are still free to discuss the following:
• the incidents the company is investigating;
• the possible discipline the company is considering; and
• the findings of the company’s investigation after it is concluded.
It is important for locals to know that during company investigations, union-represented workers still have the right to seek the assistance of their union representatives or shop stewards.
The case is Apogee Retail, 368 NLRB No. 144 (Dec. 16, 2019).
If you have any questions about this rule, contact George Wiszynski in the Legal Department at email@example.com.