Is it legal for my manager of my department to force employees not to communicate to each other even if it’s work related.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it legal for my manager of my department to force employees not to communicate to each other even if it’s work related.

I work I. The detail shop of an auto auction.
Lots of noise, moving vehicles and foot traffic.
Our immediate supervisor called a meeting
after work and enacted a new rule that the
employees are no longer allowed to
communicate with each other at all even if it’s
work related.
This sounds like a safety violation to me cause
someone could get hurt if someone failed to
say something that they saw about to happen
in fear of disciplinary action

Asked on August 17, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is legal. It may be stupid, it may be unwise, but it falls within the employer's authority to set rules and conditions for employement, and those rules and conditions can include telling employees to not communicate with each other. If an injury occurs and this policy contributes to it, the employer could be sued; if there was a workplace safety violation, it may be reported to OHSA (employers may NOT legally prevent employees from bringing legal or rules violations to the government); if there is a labor or wage law violation, it can be brought to the department of labor, or a discrimination complaint to the EEOC. But otherwise, yes--the employer may ban communication.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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