NLRB: Workers Can Use Co. E-Mail for Organizing

Posted December 18, 2014 at 1:09 pm

On Dec. 11, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a decision in Purple Communications finding that employees have a right under the National Labor Relations Act to use their employer’s e-mail system for organizing purposes, absent a showing by the employer of special circumstances.

The decision overruled the 2007 Registered Guard case, which said employers could prohibit use of e-mail systems as long as they didn’t do so in a discriminatory manner.

The Purple Communications case is a pivotal decision on organizing and employer property rights.The Board’s two Republican members dissented, finding that employees have ample opportunity to act collectively without violating employer property rights. TRSA joined in submitting a brief. It’s unclear at this writing, whether Purple Communications will appeal the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals.