Search Site
Menu
NLRB Reverses Precedent in Case Involving Employer Email

In a landmark ruling, the National Labor Relations Board determined that workers have the right to use their company email for non-business purposes. These purposes could include communicating about union events and organization. This ruling was a direct contradiction and reversal to the NLRB’s 2007 Register Guard ruling and even referenced that ruling, calling it “clearly incorrect.” 

The case involved a challenge against an email policy held by Purple Communications Inc., a sign language interpretation services organization. However, the NLRB was sure to explain that the decision was, in its words, “carefully limited.” The decision applies only to workers who are given access to a company email system, and that businesses may have the ability to issue a ban on non work-related use for their email systems if there are special circumstances in place that would make it necessary to institute such a ban. 

This ruling was a divided decision, as was the Register Guard ruling in 2007, but it is perhaps a more groundbreaking case in that it reverses a long-held precedent. The ruling handed down in 2007 put too much emphasis on the property rights of employers, according to the NLRB. The board also noted that the 2007 ruling failed to realize the full importance email can have in engaging in communications and activities protected under national labor laws. 

So what does this decision mean for the average worker? For one, it means you cannot be punished, in most circumstances, for the personal use of company email. However, it also has a wider-reaching result in that people attempting to organize to take some sort of union action will not be unfairly punished for their communication. 

For more information on what this ruling means, consult the knowledgeable Dallas attorneys at Whistleblower Law for Managers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    #600
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
Testimonials
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.

FOLLOW US
Facebook Twitter Linkedin RSS Feed JD Supra