NLRB Overturns Right to Restrict Employee E-mail Use to Business Purposes

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 32 no. 4, February 20, 2015
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A small group of employees is disgruntled. You learn they are broadcasting their complaints to coworkers through their work-issued e-mail addresses. You have an electronics policy that limits the use of company computers and systems to business purposes only. Can you discipline the employees for airing their personal grievances over the e-mail system you have provided?

After a ruling on December 11th by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the answer is most likely no. In Purple Communication, Inc., the board overturned an eight-year-old precedent that gave employers the right to limit e-mail use even when employees were discussing terms and conditions of employment. ….