In a stunning legal development, the NLRB issued on this morning, April 1, 2016, a public apology for gutting employer rules designed to increase civility and respect. Before reading the apology, please listen to Brenda Lee sing “I’m Sorry.” It will help get you in the mood.

The statement of the General Counsel to the NLRB stated, in pertinent part:

We recognize that rules that promote civility and respect are important to create healthy workplaces. Indeed, while incivility and disrespect are not unlawful, they create an atmosphere in which bullying and unlawful harassment may thrive.

The General Counsel continued:

Further, rules that promote civility and respect do not discourage employees from engaging in protected concerted activity. To the contrary, they encourage thoughtful dialogue on many things, including the terms and conditions of employment.

In a personal note, the General Counsel apologized:

I’m deeply sorry for indirectly promoting incivility and disrespect by filing complaints against employers trying to maximize civility and respect. So there is no confusion, the following rule is lawful and will not be challenged by the NLRB: We expect all employees to treat each other, including their supervisors, with civility and respect.

The General Counsel concluded by saying:

Yes, respect for supervisors, too. The demonization of management stops today. Indeed, we thank managers for all they do to help employers thrive so that jobs survive.