December 11th, 2014
In a significant win for labor unions, federal regulators ruled
Thursday that employers can't prevent their workers from using company
email to organize and discuss their working conditions outside of work.
issued by the National Labor Relations Board gives workers a statutory
right to use work email systems for those purposes after hours, so long
as they already have access to work email. The ruling overturns a
Bush-era ruling by a more conservative labor board that said workers
have no such right.
The outcome of the case, Purple
Communications, Inc. and Communications Workers of America, is
significant because it assures that pro-union employees can easily
communicate with their colleagues about organizing. Aside from the right
to pursue unionization, the ruling would also guarantee that workers
can discuss basic things like pay and benefits via their work email
without their bosses stopping them.