Is a No Gossip Policy Legal in the Workplace?

Have you been a sufferer of gossiping and wondered “Is a no gossip policy legal?” Gossip can have several meanings. To a few, it alludes spiteful discussions about someone’s life in their absence. Some think of it as simply false stories, while according to others, it can incorporate honest comments with a negative slant. Many people consider gossip to be any discussion of an individual’s or organization’s matters, regardless of whether they are work-related or personal, harmless or hostile.

Gossiping at Workplace is a No-No

Gossiping at the workplace is a common problem faced by the employer and employees these days. It is a type of casual or informal correspondence among employees concentrated on the private, individual, and delicate issues of others.

Gossiping at the workplace is considered negative worldwide, since it can present lies and offensive statements that can disturb the working environment and cause issues in personal and workplace relationships. Although workplace gossip does not necessarily have to be entirely negative, Peter Vajda, who is an expert in human development, has declared gossiping at work as cruel because it tends to hurt or attack other’s feelings.

How Can Gossiping at Work Be Dangerous?

Workplace gossiping can turn out to be fairly dangerous if the teller of the gossip has a prominent significance over the recipient of the gossip. Some common dangers of gossiping at the workplace are given out below.

·       It can damage the company’s culture.

·       It may oppose the formal communication of the organization.

·       It may create a feeling of resentment among employees.

·       The productivity of the company may be hampered.

Is a No Gossip Policy Legal in the Workplace?

To answer the question is a no gossip policy legal, it is not possible to ban it entirely! According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), forbidding gossiping in the workplace is an idea that might seem unenforceable. The reason for it being impossible is that there are many topics in an organization that are not related to work on which an employee is allowed to talk. This may incorporate pay, working hours, or working conditions. Thus, an employer who tries to stop his workers to discuss these things may be violating Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act that defines the rights of the workers.

How to Avoid Gossiping in the Workplace

Although gossiping at work cannot be totally prohibited, managers can play a great role in reducing it. They can set an example by not taking part in it and shutting it out on different occasions. Some other ways to avoid it are given out below.

·       Highlight the importance of respecting others’ personal life.

·       Communicate regularly with your employees to minimize gossiping.

·       Be available to your employees all the time.

·       Give out specific guidelines to avoid gossiping at work in the company handbook.

·       Survey your employees regularly.

Now that you have got the answer to your question, “Is a no gossip policy legal?,” you should know that you cannot completely ban gossiping in your workplace, but you can definitely try to avoid it as much as possible.