Quicken Loans Private CompanyLoans Quicken Private Company
It was another case in which the NLRB took action against Quicken Loans because it adopted working regulations and/or guidelines that an ALJ would "chill out" in exercising its NLRA privileges for non-unionised workers. The NLRB, as we already mentioned in another blogs posting, found in March 2016 that the company's Scottsdale, Arizona subsidiary had breached the NLRA by introducing illegal working regulations after one of its bankiers took advantage of Profanität and lodged a complaint about a customer in an oil closet.
Recent cases have involved a 238-page staff handbook called the Big Book. "In Quicken Loans Inc. et al. and Hugh MacEachern, Case Number 07-CA-145794, an ALJ found that a number of Big Book regulations illegally encroached upon the right of workers to conduct consensual activity regarding their working and employment practices.
Though Quicken Loans has sworn to challenge the April ruling at the Washington Board of Directors on the grounds that it created a "dangerous precedent", the ruling in fact follows a long line of NLRB precedents that target labour policy and arrangements when they believe they can intervene in the proprietary activities of Section 7 of the Employee Agreement (i.e. the activities that include the right of workers to establish, join or support workers' organisations or collective bargaining or actions for their reciprocal assistance and protection).
The ALJ, in this latest ruling, examined a number of Big Book regulations and finally found that many, but not all, were illegal because of their "excess", which the ALJ stated was a more comprehensive than necessary to safeguard the employers' rightful interests and which "would adequately construe the employees".
. in order to cover proprietary activities" within the NLRA. The NLRB lists and discusses some of these regulations in order to provide information on what the NLRB regards as an illegal violation of workers' labour laws as compared to a legal working regulation. Regulations found illegal: "Contains sensitive information that may not be shared outside the Company or used for any purpose other than the Company's legitimate work.
You may not reproduce or distribute this manual or any of its content to any person who is not a member of the company. "The ALJ came to the conclusion that this regulation was excessive and was considered by staff to be a ban on NLRA-protected acts, as there was no way for an staff member to know which parts of the Big Book were sensitive.
In addition, a general ban on the distribution of "any of the content of the Big Book" was exaggerated, as the Big Book was discussing issues related to working arrangements. "The ALJ found that this was a breach of the NLRA because an individual considering this policy would reasonably be cooled if he expressed adverse but proprietary information about the company that is under NLRA protection.
"Company acknowledges that members of the teams may wish to exhibit mementoes of their families or other belongings. "As the ALJ concludes, this regulation is illegal because a sensible worker would "think twice" about this regulation before publishing anti-union mementoes, and would consider it a ban on union-related activities.
"Company premises, office space, communal areas... may be used only for the conduct of Company affairs and operations and not for any other purposes. "The ALJ considered this regulation illegal because an individual would reasonably be able to stop the request and other proprietary actions temporarily and in places where those actions are safeguarded by the NLRA.
"In no way may you take photographs or make recordings of the Company's processes, equipment, presentations, messages, voice messages or corporate gatherings. "The ALJ found that this directive was illegal because staff would probably interpret it to forbid sheltered activities such as keeping a log of a pay review and other working condition meet.
"You may not use corporate resources to take any improper actions that are not in the best interest of the Company, its customers or its team members"; "You may not use any line of signatures that contains religion, politics, sex or any other improper material. "The ALJ noted that the first regulation was exaggerated and illegally encroached upon employees' legal status because an individual would believe that the use of emails to sharply criticise working practices would be seen as an "inappropriate" measure "not in the best interest of the company".
" The ALJ also found that the second regulation was illegal and infringed employees' legal prerogatives because an individual would likely believe that "inappropriate content" would involve language covered by Section 7 of the NLRA. For the ALJ, this was a "simple" breach of the NLRA, as workers have the right to talk to the press about issues related to their working condition, as well as, but not restricted to, the creation of and affiliation to and union representations.
Proven to be legitimate rules: "Occasionally, members of a teams may have recourse to private company information such as information on company's financials, strategies, forecasts, etc. This information is strictly confidential and may not be disclosed to any person or entity outside the company, or to any person or entity, even the press. "The ALJ said that this requirement was legitimate because workers would reasonably comprehend, on the basis of the statement of the nature of the information contained in the policy, that the policy related to their employers' interest in the safety of their information under protection and not to the information under Section 7.
"Victim Harassment: Victim harm, whether oral, bodily or otherwise, to a member of the Company's teams, customers, consultants, partners, suppliers or any other related party. "The ALJ said this was legal because workers have the right to a job without illegal molestation. a) all documentation... and b) all stationery and stationery... are and shall continue to be the Company's properties.....
" ALJ considered this legal as it did not contain any languages that would prohibit the distribution, duplication or distribution of staff schedules or other information referred to as corporate ownership. "The ALJ said this was legal because the Big Book defines sensitive information and provides 21 instances of such information.
Therefore, it would be unacceptable for an individual to come to the conclusion that this working method excluded him from the transmission of information from Section 7. is required before sensitive corporate information is saved on a private computer, and the amount of information saved should be kept to a strict limit.
" ALJ found that an individual would probably not interpret "sensitive" information as containing information covered by the activities in Section 7. On the basis of the results, the ALJ ordered those questioned to refrain from complying with the excessively wide working regulations. However, those surveyed had already done so: on 4 December 2015, those surveyed e-mailed all staff members all Big Book editions with immediate effect.
The case is another example of the NLRB's continuing wide perspective on what "concerted safe activity", "working rules" and illegal practice under the law mean. Given that the difference between an excessive and a legitimate work regulation is not always clear, any employers governed by law (whose business affects trade) should consider their various arrangements and guidelines thoroughly, whether in a non-disclosure arrangement, a tender notice, a guide, a manual, guide, separator or the like, to make sure that they do not contain provisions that may deter union-related work.
You should seek the advice of your lawyers in relation to any factual situations under applicable federal and state or municipal legislation that may place you and your business under extra duties.