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NLRB Holds “No Access Except With Permission” Rule Unlawful

The National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”), bars employers from interfering with the rights of employees to engage in protected concerted activity, such as organizing their co-workers.  In American Baptist Homes of the West d/b/a Piedmont Gardens and Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers-West, 360 NLRB No. 100 (May 1, 2014), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that an employer’s policy of prohibiting employees from remaining on-premises after their shift “unless previously authorized” by their supervisor was unlawful because it gave unlimited discretion to the employer to determine who may access the workplace and for what purpose.  In similar access cases, the NLRB has struck down rules barring off-hours access except for employer-sponsored events, prohibiting access without prior manager approval, and stating that employees could not re-enter a hospital except to “visit a patient, receive medical treatment or to conduct hospital-related business.”


According to the Board, a rule restricting off-duty employee access to the workplace is valid only if it “1) limits access solely with respect to the interior of the facility and other working areas, 2) is clearly disseminated to all employees, and 3) applies to off-duty employees seeking access to the plant for any purpose and not just to those employees engaging in union activity.”