Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 13

workplace chatter

Concerted Activity

Special Circumstances

Generally, private employers may restrict employees' speech in the workplace during work hours. The key
word, however, is "generally." There
are circumstances where it is unlawful for an employer to restrict certain
political speech. For example, some
speech may fall under the protection
of the National Labor Relations Act
("NLRA"). Section 7 of the NLRA
protects the rights of most private
sector employees, both union and
non-union alike, to engage in "concerted activities."
Concerted activity is when employees take action related to the
terms and conditions of their employment. This includes discussions
of paying men and women equally
for equal work and concerns about
paid medical leave.
Because these subjects were a
significant part of this year's presidential election, employers must be
careful not to place a blanket restriction on all political speech.
Employees' out-of-work speech
may be protected, also. The NLRA
protection extends to concerted activity both on and off work premises.
Under the NLRA, employees' Facebook posts and Twitter tweets may
be protected activity if employees are
using the social media platforms to
discuss the terms and conditions of
their employment. Additionally, some
states, such as California, Colorado,
North Dakota and New York, have
laws that prohibit an employer from
punishing an employee for political
activity outside of work.

In a restaurant, at the front desk of
a hotel, at the concierge desk of a
cruise ship or behind a computer
screen, employees enjoy Section 7
rights to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment, even
when, to employers' dismay, these
discussions occur in front of guests.
There is, however, a narrow "special
circumstances" exception to employees' rights that employers in the hospitality industry may seek to utilize to
prohibit certain discussions in front
of customers.
Under this exception, an employer
may lawfully prohibit its employees
from engaging in communications on
the job that may harm its relationships
with its customers or its public image.
Employers should not hang their hat
on this exception, however, because it
has been narrowly and inconsistently applied. The best advice is tread
lightly and consult with counsel. Employers should confer with counsel
prior to implementing a workplace
policy to ensure that it does not violate federal, state or local laws.
If implementing a policy that restricts political speech or speech in
front of customers, the policy should
provide a carve-out for speech that
may be protected by Section 7 of the
NLRA and other applicable laws.
Alternatively, rather than singling
out political speech, employers may
seek to prohibit disruptive workplace
activities generally. This type of restriction allows employers to control
political speech by dealing with the
impact on productivity or customer

>> It can be unlawful for an employer to restrict certain political speech.

relations, rather than the content of
the speech itself.
Employers may also consider implementing an anti-discrimination and
anti-harassment policy that targets
and restricts offensive speech that
could become the subject of a claim
of discrimination or harassment. With
any policy, employers should be careful to apply and enforce it consistently
to all employees to avoid allegations
of disparate treatment or retaliation.
Certainly, employers will not be
able to prohibit all political conversations in the workplace. With several competing interests to consider,
employers in the hospitality industry
should consult with counsel to establish appropriate policies.
Dana Chang is a labor and employment lawyer with the Fort Lauderdale office of Fisher Phillips, representing management in all areas
of employment law. Chang can be
reached at dchang@fisherphillips.com.

food & drink international * winter 2016 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com

13


http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2

Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover1
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover2
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 1
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Contents
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 3
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 4
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 5
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 6
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 7
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 8
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 9
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 10
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 11
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 12
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 13
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 14
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 15
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 16
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 17
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 18
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 19
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 20
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 21
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 22
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 23
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 24
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 25
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 26
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 27
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 28
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 29
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 30
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 31
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 32
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 33
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 34
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 35
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 36
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 37
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 38
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 39
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 40
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 41
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 42
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 43
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 44
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 45
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 46
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 47
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 48
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 49
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 50
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 51
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 52
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 53
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 54
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 55
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 56
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 57
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 58
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 59
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 60
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 61
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 62
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 63
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 64
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 65
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 66
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 67
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 68
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 69
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 70
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 71
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 72
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 73
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 74
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 75
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 76
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 77
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 78
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 79
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 80
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 81
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 82
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 83
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 84
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 85
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 86
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 87
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 88
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 89
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 90
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 91
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 92
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 93
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 94
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 95
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 96
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 97
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 98
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 99
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 100
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 101
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 102
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 103
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 104
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 105
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 106
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 107
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 108
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 109
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 110
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 111
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 112
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 113
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 114
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 115
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 116
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 117
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 118
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 119
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 120
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 121
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 122
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 123
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 124
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 125
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 126
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 127
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 128
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 129
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 130
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 131
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 132
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 133
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 134
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 135
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - 136
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover3
Food and Drink International - Winter 2016 Volume 2 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue4b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue4a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue3b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue3A
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue2b
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue2a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol19_issue1a
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/youngsmarketco
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol18_issue4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol18_issue3
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol18_issue2_2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol18_issue2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_vol18_issue1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2017winter_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2017winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2017fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2017summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2017springvol2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2017springvol1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2016wintervol2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2016wintervol1
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2016fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/knighthouse/fd_2016summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2016spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2015winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2015fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2015summer2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2015summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2015spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2014winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2014fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2014summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2014spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2013winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2013fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2013summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2013spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2012fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2012summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2012spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2012winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/phoenix/fd_2011fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_20110708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_20110506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2011summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2011spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2010winter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2010fall
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2010summer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2010springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2010spring
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/businessmedia/fd_2010winterspring
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com