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Employment Blog

Who Is Really Running Your Business?

Recent events at the state and federal level have again put in question who is really running businesses today. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) through various opinions and rulings, has said that any business, even if not unionized, may not take disciplinary action against an employee for certain types of statements made on social media, if those statements are derogatory to the company or individuals in the company. Through these opinions and decisions, the NLRB has become an arbiter of whether or not a company can protect its reputation or take disciplinary action against an employee that complains about company operations. While each case is viewed on its own facts, there is a strong learning towards the prevention of disciplinary action against an employee that may criticize the company or company officials in social media settings.

A recent proposal from Governor Scott Walker eliminated the right of local government units to require their employees to live within their community boundaries. While some would say this eliminates an archaic local policy, the ability of a local government unit to decide what is best for its employees is eliminated when it comes to where the employee can live. This sometimes is a matter of concern for public safety and protection and also a concern regarding the hiring of the best candidate for a job, but that balancing act would normally be done by the governing board when deciding its local policy.

These are interesting developments, and signal a continued movement to place control over decisions made by a local government or a local business. Elected officials and business owners must be careful when making business related decisions recognizing that other entities are looking to control the decision-making process. The best thing to do is to train managers to make decisions uniformly, and avoid decisions that are made based on the wrong facts or for the wrong reasons.