We’ve posted before about efforts by the NLRB to expand its reach to employers who aren’t subject to collective bargaining agreements. This includes efforts to regulate at-will employment, class-action waivers, and the use of social media.

Now the Board (that’s what you call the NLRB if you want to sound like an experienced labor lawyer — “the Board”) has disapproved of a rule banning employees from conducting personal business on company premises. In a dispute between Target Corporation and the United Food & Commercial Workers, Local 1500, the Board determined that:

Generally speaking, an employer’s ban on solicitation that is not limited to working time, or on distribution of literature not limited to working time and working areas, is presumptively invalid.

The Board held that, unless the ban on solicitation or distribution of literature is “carefully crafted to exclude union and other [protected] activity,” it violates §8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act, which makes it an unfair labor practice to “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights” protected by the Act. Here’s a link to a PDF of the decision.

Don’t expect this overreaching to stop anytime soon.

Bad Day At The Office