Anyone else know more about this:
Security firm Guardsmark instituted a rule directing employees not to “fraternize on duty or off duty, date, or become overly friendly with the client’s employees or with co-employees.” In September 2003, the Service Employees International Union filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB against Guardsmark, claiming that the company’s work rules inhibited its employees’ Section 7 rights.
Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act grants workers the right to “self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations…and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection…” While the law allows employers to ban association among co-workers during work hours, Guardsmark’s rule was broader in that it applied to the off-duty association of co-workers.
Just curious. I didn’t see anything about this in the MSM.
I know more about it. The rule doesn’t ban off-duty fraternization – that’s a complete no-no, because it would impact workers’ efforts to organize.
But the rule LOOKS like it bans off-duty fraternization at first blush, at least to me, and that’s why there was a case. The NLRB said, well, we understand the literal interpretation, but we don’t think any reasonable worker would take it that way, we think the point of the rule is just to ban dating and entanglements of that sort. Maybe they were right, maybe they were wrong, but if anyone actually was disciplined for having a beer with a co-worker, let’s say, and they filed a grievance, there is no way in hell that disciplinary action would be allowed to stand.
This decision has been written up in a couple places as upholding a ban on off-duty fraternization, but that’s simply not the case. It’s worth noting that there were three issues in the case, and the other two were decided in favor of the employees, so this wasn’t some lunatic pro-management panel of the NLRB.