Is a zero tolerance negativity policy legal?

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Is a zero tolerance negativity policy legal?

My employer made me sign a warning that
beginning 2019 there will be no negativity
tolerated in the workplace. Understandable
they want to limit gossip or talking about each
other but I was specifically told that we would
be written up if we complained about changes
that are being made if we dont agree with
them and to address it with our managers on
one on ones. Mind you, this place has very
untrustworthy management and it feels like
there is truly no one to complain to or that
anything gets done. On top of it, they said they
would not give me a copy of what I signed. Is
this an infringement of employee rights to
discuss work conditions? This is not a union
group, though. Ive been told in private by a
supervisor that they are weeding out people
before they enact a wage analysis or pay raise
in the next fiscal year. Is this kind of policy
appropriate?

Asked on November 20, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

An employer can bar even productive discussions of changes or polices *at* work because an employer has full discretion over the workplace--for exampe, an employer could legally bar ALL conversations at work and not allow employees to talk to each other about anything not required to the task at hand. They may not bar out of work conversations about workplace conditions, work policies, etc., so long as such are legitimate discussions among workers (e.g. you don't have a right to defame or badmouth your workplace to outsiders), but can legally tell people what can and cannot be discussed when actually on the job, or the proper channels to discuss polices while at work.


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