Have you ever heard of Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act, which is enforced by the National Labor Relations Board? Not too many years ago, the NLRB was primarily pro-union and enforced labor laws. That has changed in our careers with the decline in private-sector unionism since 1955. Today's NLRB enforces employee rights at non-union employers, too - and increasingly so. Enter the trusted employee benefit adviser.

NLRA Section 7 rights guarantee employees the right to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid or protection of themselves against employers or for the mutual aid or protection of other employees. Let us take this rule down a notch. Assume your employer cuts the hours of employees to eliminate eligibility for health benefits. Maybe those employees get angry with the employer and go on Facebook or other social media to sound off. One or more of the employees bad-mouth the employer. This negative media attention comes off as a negative employment action and debases the employment policies of the employer. One employee invites other "friends" to chime in on the rant, which they do. They collectively name their employer or manager by name.

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