Alex Stevens in Law360: Lawyers Weigh In On NLRB Employer Email Ruling

12/12/2014

The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday held that workers have a right to use their employers' email systems for non-business purposes including communicating about union organizing. Here, attorneys tell Law360 why the decision in Purple Communications Inc. is significant...

Alex Stevens, Haynes and Boone, LLP

“Although the board majority in Purple Communications emphasizes the ‘carefully limited’ scope of its decision, today’s ruling upends well-established labor law at the expense of employer property rights and the commonsense principle that ‘work time is for work.’ As a result, employers will struggle to update their electronic communications policies without meaningful guidance from the board regarding the kinds of special circumstances that would justify placing controls on employee email use to maintain production and discipline. This struggle will continue as employers wade through Purple Communication’s implications for employer email monitoring, internal investigations and the possible extension of the board majority’s newfound indifference to employer property rights to other employer resources such as computer equipment, bulletin boards, office supplies, and audio-visual equipment.”

Excerpted from Law360, December 12, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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