In a shocking decision, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in 2014 that employers may violate the National Labor Relations Act in restricting workplace email usage to work-related communication. The decision crippled employers seeking to enforce reasonable and necessary email-use policies. And it invited employees to engage in protracted dialogue on unionization issues.
Theoretically, the Purple Communications decision allowed for communication prohibitions about non-work issues during working hours; however, as we have argued, that is an impractical standard. Employers cannot constantly police employees’ emails. Indeed, the only way to ensure that company computers and email systems are used only for appropriate purposes is to allow employers freedom to set and enforce reasonable rules. As such, NFIB has asked a federal court to overturn the Purple Communications decision with our recent amicus filing in Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless v. NLRA.
Our readers may also be interested to see our past commentary on this issue. Check out our October 16, 2017 post here, which asks whether NLRB’s rule illegally commandeers private property?