“No-Gossip” Policy at Ithaca Hampton Inn Rescinded After Federal Charge

The anti-worker “No Gossip” policy established by the Ithaca Hampton Inn in 2014 has been voluntarily rescinded following an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge filed in late March by the Tompkins County Workers’ Center (TCWC) with the National Labor Relations Board.

The TCWC filed the ULP charge after hearing about the policy from employees.  Hampton’s “No Gossip” policy forbade employees from talking among themselves “about things … they can do nothing about.”  The TCWC agreed with employees that this policy had a chilling effect on employees’ willingness to talk among themselves about work-related issues, including pay, safety, hours of work and others. Forbidding such talk among employees is an illegal and Unfair Labor Practice under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) as it restricts the possibilityof employees engaging in concerted action with respect to their working conditions, including but not limited to unionization.  Such concerted action is a protected worker right under the NLRA.

The Albany office of the National Labor Relations Board handled the case.  Following notification of the charges, Hampton Inn management voluntarily agreed to rescind the policy and to notify all employees of this fact. With this assurance the TCWC agreed to drop the charge.