Employer’s Confidentiality Policy For Wage Information Violates Labor Laws

In Flex Frac Logistics, L.L.C., et al. v. NLRB, Case No. 12-60752 (5th Cir., Mar. 24, 2014), Flex Frac, a non-union trucking company, asked the court of appeals to overturn an Administrative Law Judge’s decision, affirmed by the National Labor Relations Board, that the company’s employee confidentiality policy constituted an unfair labor practice. The policy prohibited employees from divulging “personnel information.” The case originated with a fired non-union employee’s unfair labor practice charge. The ALJ found that although there was no reference to wages or other specific terms and conditions of employment in the confidentiality clause, the clause nonetheless violated NLRA Section 8(a)(1) because it restricted employees from exercising their NLRA Section 7 right to discuss wage information. The court concluded that the NLRB’s interpretation of the confidentiality clause was not unreasonable. The court, therefore, enforced the NLRB’s order restricting the company from maintaining a policy prohibiting employee discussion of wage information.

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