The NLRB has upheld a hospital’s ban on the use of cameras for photographing patients, equipment, property or facilities.  It said the ban did not violate the right of employees to engage in union or protected concerted activity. The NLRB in the 2-1 decision reasoned that the ban did not expressly restrict union or other protected, concerted activity and there was no evidence that it was adopted in response to or applied to such activity.  Further, the Labor Board acknowledged the hospital’s “weighty” interest in protecting patient privacy and preventing the wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information.  It concluded that employees would see the policy as a way to protected patient privacy and not as an attempt to prevent union activity.

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            Where a policy could be interpreted as an infringement on union or other protected, concerted activity claims, employers should incorporate within it a statement of the legitimate and substantial business reasons for adopting it.  This will minimize the chance that a union or an employee will be able to reasonably interpret its purpose as unlawful.