Back to News

NLRB Ruling Bans Work Email for Union Organizing

Published on

December 27, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board continues to trend pro-employer in its December rulings, with the latest blow to unions coming in the form of a ban on using a company email account for union purposes.

In the recent Caesar’s Entertainment decision, the NLRB held that employees have no legal right to use the company’s computer equipment for union and other organizing purposes. The NLRB specifically overruled the Obama-era decision in Purple Communications that held that if an employer provides an employee with access to its email system, it cannot prohibit the employee from using the email system for union and organizing purposes. The board’s decision in Caesar’s Entertainment continues a trend of the NLRB overturning Obama-era pro union decisions.

In Caesar’s Entertainment, the company had an employee handbook that included general restrictions on the use of the company’s computers. Employees were prohibited from sharing non-business information. The board held that “an employer’s communication systems, including its email system, are its property. Accordingly, employers have a property right to control the use of those systems.” Company policies that prohibit employees from using a company’s email system for non-work purposes do not violate the National Labor Relations Act. The only exception to this rule is when a company’s email system furnishes the only reasonable means for employees to communicate with one another. This decision takes effect immediately.

In light of this decision, employers who changed their computer policies because of the Purple Communications decision, should immediately review those computer policies and once again prohibit employees from using the company’s computer systems for non-business purposes. Furthermore, employers should feel confident that they can enforce these policies without violating the NLRA.

If you have any questions about this ruling and what it could mean for your rules governing use of company email, please reach out to me or any member of the Barley Snyder Employment Practice Group.


Related News

View More News
News Alert
January 20, 2023

Court Restores More Union-Friendly Election Rules

In a decision issued earlier this week, the District of Columbia Circuit Co...

Learn More
News Alert
January 10, 2023

Attention Employers: Upcoming H-1B Registration Period

It’s that time of year again! Time to start preparing for the fiscal year...

Learn More
News Alert
January 9, 2023

The Federal Government Passes Two New Statutory Acts Further Protecting Pregnant and Nursing Mothers

Snuck into the federal government’s $1.7 billion government funding bill ...

Learn More

Other Upcoming Events

View All Upcoming Events
Mar
07
7:30 am
-
11:00 am
event
Location

2023 Transportation, Logistics & Trade Seminar

Learn More
Mar
23
12:00 pm
-
6:00 pm
event
Location

LendiCon 2023

Learn More
May
12
event
Location

40th Annual Employment Law Seminar

Learn More

Get in Touch

Our attorneys, paralegals and staff look forward to hearing from you. Please reach out to let us know how we can help.

Get In Touch
RECOGNIZED IN
Super Lawyers
Best Law Firms US News
Best Lawyers