October 7, 2022 • News

Workplace Policies Limiting Wearing Union Insignia Ruled Unlawful Except in Special Circumstances 

On August 29, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision in Tesla, Inc., 371 NLRB No. 131 (Aug. 29, 2022), finding it unlawful for the employer to maintain a policy that interferes in any way with employees’ rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to display union insignia, including wearing union apparel, and that the employer has the burden to establish special circumstances that make such a policy necessary to maintain production or discipline. The Tesla decision overruled the decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 368 NLRB No. 146 (2019), and reaffirmed prior precedent. Employers will once again need to prove specific circumstances whenever their uniform or dress-code policies interfere with their employees’ right to wear or display union insignia, which is a form of protected communication.