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NLRB Says Workplace Discussions of Racism Are Protected Activity

March 21, 2023


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently confirmed that employers cannot discipline or fire workers for publicly raising concerns about racism in the workplace.

In a Feb. 27 memo, the board concluded that a medical school professor’s discussions of racism in the workplace and the medical field were protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

In 2016, the NLRB issued a similar advice memo, which said employees are engaged in protected concerted activity when speaking with co-workers about the employer’s discriminatory practices. It concluded that discussions about alleged racial discrimination in the workplace are inherently concerted because the perceived discrimination implicates many terms and conditions of employment and is “a matter of vital importance to employees.”

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