NLRB Sets Limits on Union Organizing Using Employer Email
In a reversal of a ruling from the Obama era, the majority-Republican National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under President Donald Trump recently approved restrictions on union- organizing efforts related to the use of employer email systems, according to news reports.
In a 3-1 ruling issued on Dec. 16, 2019, the NLRB decided in the case of Caesars Entertainment to re-establish the right of an employer to restrict employees’ use of company email and other information technology during nonworking hours. This ruling overturned a contrary finding decided by a Democratic-majority NLRB during the administration of President Barack Obama. That ruling issued in the Purple Communications case concluded that employees have a statutory right to use employer email for union purposes. Business and employer groups, including TRSA, saw the latest ruling as a victory and a vindication of property and free speech rights. Unions, not surprisingly, opposed the move, which allows restrictions on the use of employer email systems during organizing campaigns.
Another concern voiced in the NLRB’s latest ruling is that in the age of computer hacking and related cyber-security issues, employers need to exercise more control over their communications systems. This concern was less pronounced when the Obama-era NLRB decided the Purple Communications case in December 2014. Click here for details.
The Trump-appointed NLRB majority also took similar action recently on a Joint Employer Rule issued by the Obama-era NLRB. Click here for details.