Complete Labor Law Poster for $24.95
from www.LaborLawCenter.com, includes
State, Federal, & OSHA posting requirements

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Possibly inappropriate posting from management in break-room Michigan

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Possibly inappropriate posting from management in break-room Michigan

    This is a posting that went up yesterday in the break-room where I work:

    IF ANYONE HAS A NEGATIVE COMMENT TO SAY ABOUT THIS COMPANY, STAFF, OR PROCEDURES YOU CAN ADDRESS THEM WITH _____, OR KEEP THEM TO YOURSELVES.. IF IT BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT ANYTHING, THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES... YOU'RE HERE TO WORK NOT GOSSIP.. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK _____

    _____

    Obviously I have redacted the manager's name. Is a posting like this unlawful, or is it simply unprofessional?

    Thanks for your advice.

  • #2
    Apparently there is a problem with gossip.

    We just covered this in a meeting on Monday. Since I was just back from a 3 month emergency leave, it did not apply to me. It was interesting to see who changed the subject and looked embarrassed. (Anyone need a refill on coffee?)

    An employer can do what they want, as long as there are not laws prohibiting it.

    If someone pays you, and tells you not to discuss work situations, they usually have the right to do so. The law only specifies that the employer cannot prohibit you from discussing your wages.

    We recently removed a couple employees that could only talk about the negative. Now work is so much more pleasant.

    Comment


    • #3
      Employees have the right to concerted activity regarding wages and conditions of employment. They do not have the right to gossip, exhibit a generally poor attitude, gripe to just anyone who will listen, argue with their manager, or ignore the rules.

      Unless and until the employer takes inappropriate action against an employee who is engaged in legitimate concerted activity, there isn't a violation. It is legal to have a "chain of command" or person designated to handle reported problems and issues. In fact, it is wise to do so and to make that information well publicized.

      Do I agree with the tone of this sign? Not even close. Do I see it as an act of desperation by a manager who has clearly lost control of the situation? You betcha. Is it illegal? Nope.

      It isn't clear where you fall in all this (fellow manager, rank and file worker, someone with a legitimate complaint...) but if you feel compelled to do something about it, I'd make an appointment with ______ and calmly discuss it.
      I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

      Comment


      • #4
        Agreed. Past that, the posting (or something like it) may not only be appropriate but could be legally required. That depends very much about what management does not want talked about. I worked for a place in the 1980s that had some Title VII problem. Employees telling "jokes" or making remarks involving gender, race and such. And some more specific related problems. The more specific problems were dealt with specifically. But past that, management issued some very general "all hands" warnings that the discussions stop, period. That management did not care if employees felt it was "just a joke" or "no harm meant". Management made it very clear that anyone who was not capable of keeping their mouth shut about anything that anyone found offensive was gone. Very heavy handed, but it worked. Very Senior Management at this place was scary, and everyone took them seriously. Unlike the softer "teaching moment" methods HR had been using. This place used to routinely go through desk drawers and waste paper baskets looking for dirt on their employees. Never bothered me, because I had no intention of putting myself at risk.

        At the risk of stating the very obvious, anything you say or do at work can be held against you. Smart employees will not say or do anything at work that they would not say or do in front of their boss. They do not use company email, computers, cell phones or any other equipment to say and do things they do not want their boss to find out about. They do not assume that stuff they say in "private" to a coworker will not be immediately repeated to everyone. And they do not assume that anything they say on a social network website is not being monitored by their employer
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

        Comment


        • #5
          These are all excellent responses. Thank you for taking the time to comment. As to where I fall into this picture, I'm just a "rank and file" worker with no specific complaints. I show up when I'm scheduled, do my work with a positive attitude, and don't cause conflict with my co-workers. In my mind, "there will be consequences" is a red flag that sounds like a threat.

          I'm not an expert on labor law but the language used is fairly intimidating, even though I'm not a squeaky wheel. It is my thought that the post was directed to the two or three employees who consistently take a bad attitude about having too much work to do, too little work to do, clients they don't want to work with, etc.

          On a side note, one piece of material conspicuously absent from any area visible to most employees is the required labor law/rights poster. There is a poster in the break area of the management headquarters in the building next door, but the door is kept locked there.

          Comment


          • #6
            No one is saying that your employer is not ham-fisted and maybe a serious jerk. But these things are not illegal by themselves. Unless we know what fire the employer is trying to put out, and how serious the fire is, we cannot say for sure that the message you posted by itself is illegal or even wrong. If the situation is bad enough, harsh language can indeed be well justified.

            Regarding your unrelated question of mandatory federal or state labor law postings, if you think a law is being broken, contact federal or state DOL.
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

            Comment


            • #7
              I myself am not sure what fire the management is trying to put out. As I said in my initial posting here, it was questionable to me whether the posting in our break-room was appropriate - I simply did not know. Thank you for sharing your perspective, DAW.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by scheidch View Post
                These are all excellent responses. Thank you for taking the time to comment. As to where I fall into this picture, I'm just a "rank and file" worker with no specific complaints. I show up when I'm scheduled, do my work with a positive attitude, and don't cause conflict with my co-workers. In my mind, "there will be consequences" is a red flag that sounds like a threat.

                I'm not an expert on labor law but the language used is fairly intimidating, even though I'm not a squeaky wheel. It is my thought that the post was directed to the two or three employees who consistently take a bad attitude about having too much work to do, too little work to do, clients they don't want to work with, etc.

                On a side note, one piece of material conspicuously absent from any area visible to most employees is the required labor law/rights poster. There is a poster in the break area of the management headquarters in the building next door, but the door is kept locked there.
                Intimidating in what manner, physical threat or you will lose your job threat? If it is the latter then I would say the posting has done its job.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by scheidch View Post
                  This is a posting that went up yesterday in the break-room where I work:

                  IF ANYONE HAS A NEGATIVE COMMENT TO SAY ABOUT THIS COMPANY, STAFF, OR PROCEDURES YOU CAN ADDRESS THEM WITH _____, OR KEEP THEM TO YOURSELVES.. IF IT BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT ANYTHING, THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES... YOU'RE HERE TO WORK NOT GOSSIP.. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK _____

                  _____

                  Obviously I have redacted the manager's name. Is a posting like this unlawful, or is it simply unprofessional?

                  Thanks for your advice.
                  Notices like this are never effective. The persons doing the gossiping never realize this means THEM. Plus since everyone is being "blasted," they think management doesn't know who's causing the problem so chances are they'll just continue being nasty.

                  In an event, it's completely legal to post a notice like this, even if this is a lousy approach to solving the problem.

                  Comment

                  The LaborLawTalk.com forum is intended for informational use only and should not be relied upon and is not a substitute for legal advice. The information contained on LaborLawTalk.com are opinions and suggestions of members and is not a representation of the opinions of LaborLawTalk.com. LaborLawTalk.com does not warrant or vouch for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any postings or the qualifications of any person responding. Please consult a legal expert or seek the services of an attorney in your area for more accuracy on your specific situation.
                  Working...
                  X