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You have no Rights- Off Duty, On Notice March 20, 2007

Posted by Jordi in Business-Society Issues, Government, Workplaces.
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I can remember when I first realzed that the employment contract supercedes many of the rights we are taught to cherish as Americans. Do you remember the bill of rights that barely squeaked into the constitution?

American Prospect Online – Off Duty, On Notice
They’ll be bowling alone at Guardsmark tonight. The National Labor Relations Board NLRB doesn’t want the employees chatting it up off the job.

On June 7 the three Republican appointees on the five-member board that regulates employer-employee relations in the United States handed down a remarkable ruling that expands the rights of employers to muck around in their workers lives when they’re off the job. They upheld the legality of a regulation for uniformed employees at Guardsmark, a security guard company, that reads, “[Y]ou must NOT . . . fraternize on duty or off duty, date or become overly friendly with the clients employees or with co-employees.”

The issue came up because a union member (SEIU) asked the NLRB to look into this. What exactly does fraternize or “overly friendly” mean? If anyone would know, is it not Bucknell students, especially those who are part of fraternities? Is hanging out fraternizing? Being at the same social event even if you don’t talk to the other person?

The NLRB claims that it is clear that the policy is only meant to forbid dating among employees, a provision especially important for a security company. Critics disagree pointing out that now that it is precedent, the wording is broad enough to greatly expand the power of employers to control the choices of employees who are not on duty.

Is this a necessary precaution for companies? Or, is it Big Brother, but not of the government, but of your boss?

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