The ability to control activity on its own premises has long been regarded as among employers’ basic rights – and responsibilities. On May 1, however, the NLRB ruled that a nursing home’s off duty policy violated the NLRA, because it required pre-authorization by a supervisor, and thus, gave the employer "broad—indeed unlimited—discretion to decide when and why employees may access the facility.”

The policy prohibited employees from remaining on the premises after their shift “unless previously authorized by” their supervisor. While the rule did generally prohibit post-shift access, the need for supervisor pre-authorization was “indefinite in scope” and thus, the rule did not apply to all off-duty employees equally, as opposed to just those employees engaging in union activity. 

The NLRB further found that the nursing home had violated Section 7 of the NLRA by applying the policy against two employees who sought access to the building “to engage in the protected activity of aiding the Union in presenting employee complaints to management.”

For assistance in drafting compliant policies, including off duty access policies, feel free to reach out to our Labor and Employment Department.