HIGHER ED FACULTY

Expanded Right to Use E-mail for Union Organizing

December 19, 2014 / Phil Lesch

AAUP Updates:

The National Labor Relations Board recently issued a decision significantly expanding the right of employees to use their employers' e-mail systems for union organizing and other activities protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. The decision is available at http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d45819e22c9.

In Purple Communications the board explained that “the use of email as a common form of workplace communication has expanded dramatically in  ecent years.”  Therefore the board ruled that “employee  use of email for statutorily protected communications on  nonworking time must presumptively be permitted by employers who have chosen to give employees access to their email systems.” While the case addressed communications supporting the union during an organizing drive, given the board's expansion of protected activity, this also includes communications critical of the employer's employment-related policies, practices and management decisions.

Read more here