Legal Alert: NLRB Holds Employees May Use Employer Email Systems for Non-Work-Related Communications
In a reversal of precedent, a divided National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) held yesterday that employees have a right to use their employers’ email systems for non-business purposes, including statutorily protected communications regarding the terms and conditions of their employment and regarding union organizing efforts. See Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 126 (December 11, 2014). The NLRB’s ruling stemmed from a case brought by the Communications Workers of America union after it unsuccessfully attempted to organize employees of Purple Communications, Inc., a company that provides interpreting services for the deaf and hearing-impaired. The union argued that prohibiting the company’s workers from using the company’s email system for non-business purposes and on behalf of organizations not associated with the company interfered with the CWA’s organizing efforts.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court issued a highly-anticipated ruling in the case of Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk, No. 13-433 (Dec. 9, 2014, Thomas, C.).
This Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Young v. UPS, No. 12-1226, on appeal from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal. The Young case has received significant attention because it asks the Court to directly address the question of what, if any, accommodation is required for a pregnant worker with work limitations under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, incorporated into Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1978, where the employer provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations, such as those affected by on-the-job injuries or a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) issued a final rule on September 11, 2014, requiring employers to notify OSHA when an employee is killed on the job or suffers a work-related hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye. The rule will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. The rule also updates the list of employers partially exempt from OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements.
The recently-published video of NFL star-running back Ray Rice beating his then-fiancée in a casino elevator begs the question: What should an employer do when it faces bad behavior by one of its employees? And, does it matter if the employee is off-the-clock?
Companies with Kentucky employees need to review their non-competition agreements.
Two federal courts recently dealt with thorny issues stemming from defendant employers’ use of the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. These rulings should be heeded by those of us who develop or revise electronic data review protocols, particularly any guidance for determining when to withhold documents under the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine.
Stressing that technology has made telecommuting easier, the Sixth Circuit yesterday revived the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's claims that Ford Motor Co. failed to accommodate a worker with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by refusing her request to work from home most days.
While the rest of us have been cheering on our favorite teams or sulking due to our busted March Madness brackets, Northwestern University has been fighting a different battle before the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). On March 26, 2014, a regional director for the NLRB ruled that football players at Northwestern qualify as “employees” and have the right to unionize, paving the way for athletes at private educational institutions throughout the country to unionize.
The Potentially Unintended Effect of the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act on Employment Settlement Agreements
The amendments to the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act quietly went into effect as of October 21, 2013. Congress passed the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act (“Act”) in late-2011 as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Extension Act of 2011 (“TAAEA”). While the TAAEA is primarily concerned with extending retraining assistance for employees displaced by foreign workers, the Act requires states to incorporate provisions into their own Unemployment Insurance laws to (1) enhance penalties for fraudulent Unemployment Insurance claimants; (2) revise the timing of "new hire" reports; and (3) impose new obligations on employers (and their agents) with respect to responding to Unemployment Insurance claim notices.
KMK's Management Rights Blog will focus on labor and employment law issues, developments, and musings. We will cover issues and developments in our home state of Ohio and beyond. We are management side lawyers and this blog will focus on the management perspective, which is often ignored or misrepresented in main stream press reporting of labor and employment law developments.
Your participation in the blog through suggestions, requests, comments and criticisms is welcomed. We will try to respond to any emails we receive, time permitting. If we refer to comments we receive in future posts, we will not attribute them without permission.
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- Legal Alert: NLRB Holds Employees May Use Employer Email Systems for Non-Work-Related Communications
- Supreme Court Finds Post-Shift Security Check Time Not Compensable
- CASE TO WATCH: YOUNG V. UPS
- OSHA Issues New Reporting and Recordkeeping Regulations
- Employees Behaving Badly: What’s An Employer To Do?
- Kentucky Non-Competition Agreements
- Use and Abuse of Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine in E-Discovery
- Sixth Circuit Holds Telecommuting May Be a Reasonable Accommodation for Employee With IBS
- NLRB Rules College Athletes Are Employees And Can Unionize
- The Potentially Unintended Effect of the Unemployment Insurance Integrity Act on Employment Settlement Agreements