Employee Relations 12/12/2014
NLRB Decision Requires Employers to Allow Use of Work Email for Union Organizing Purposes
The National Labor Relations Board (Board) on Thursday issued
a decision that will require employers to allow
employees to utilize company email for Section 7 purposes during
nonworking time. Section 7 of the National Labor Relations
Act guarantees employees “the right to self-organization, to
form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain
collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and
to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of
collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection,” as well
as the right “to refrain from any or all such activities.”
The decision by the Board overturns its 2007 decision that employers had a right to ban all employee use of employer email systems for union activities and other issues.
Counties should note that employers will not be required to grant email access to employees who did not already have that access; however, employers will be permitted to prove the existence of special circumstances for a total ban on email access under this ruling so as to maintain production and discipline in the workplace.