SEMA eNews Vol. 17, No. 51, December 18, 2014

Federal Labor Board Okays Employee Emails to Discuss Workplace Issues

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that employees may use their company e-mail accounts to discuss workplace issues, including union organization. The decision overturns a 2007 NLRB ruling that workers did not have a right to use company e-mail to discuss workplace conditions and compensation. The NLRB revisited the issue at the request of the Communications Workers of America, which argued that prohibiting employees from using company e-mail was an impediment to workers’ right to organize. 

In its ruling, the NLRB agreed that “employee use of e-mail for statutorily protected communications on nonworking time must presumptively be permitted by employers who have chosen to give employees access to their e-mail systems.” 

Key leaders in Congress disagreed with the NLRB finding and expressed their intent to introduce legislation to overturn the ruling. For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at

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