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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. 

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D.C. Circuit Strikes Down NLRB Poster Rule

On May 7, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) rule requiring both union and non-union employers to display posters informing employees of their right to form a union and engage in other concerted activity.

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TAGS: Labor Law, National Labor Relations Act, Unions

Recent DirecTV Decision Highlights the NLRB's Scrutiny of Employer Confidentiality Policies

Demonstrating the NLRB’s increased focus on limiting employer confidentiality rules, a three member panel of the NLRB recently ruled in DirecTV U.S. DirecTV Holdings LLC, 359 NLRB No. 4 (January 25, 2013) that four work rules maintained by DirecTV were unlawful restrictions on employees’ Section 7 rights and that the employer did not repudiate the rules. 

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A Valuable Reminder About the Scope of the NLRA

The NLRB announced today that the Texas Dental Association has distributed $900,000 in back pay awards to two former employees who were fired in relation to a petition complaining of poor management and unfair treatment.

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TAGS: Employment Law, Labor & Employment Law, Litigation, National Labor Relations Act

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