October 23, 2023 • News

New Standard for Assessing Lawfulness of Work Rules

On August 2, 2023, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) adopted a new standard for assessing lawfulness of work rules. In Stericycle Inc., the NLRB rejected prior rulings in Boeing (2017) and LA Specialty Produce (2019) in which an employer was not required to narrowly tailor its rules to promote its legitimate and substantial business interests without unnecessarily burdening employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and in which certain types of rules were held to be always lawful, regardless of how they were drafted, or what industry or workplace the employer was in. An employer’s rules will be assessed from the perspective of the employee who is economically dependent on the employer and inclined to interpret an ambiguous rule to prohibit protected activity he or she might want to engage in, resulting in the “chilling” of the employee’s NLRA rights. For more information, see the NLRB press release.