Employer E-Mail Policies and the National Labor Relations Act: D.C. Circuit Bounces Register-Guard Back to the Obama Board on Discriminatory Enforcement Issue
Labor Law Journal, Vol. 61, pp. 5-14, 2010
11 Pages Posted: 4 May 2010
Date Written: May 4, 2010
This lead article addresses important questions regarding the extent to which employers’ proprietary rights in the communications systems can trump employees' rights to use the systems for organizational purposes in cases where the employers' policies lack consistent enforcement in this regard. The author details the National Labor Relations Board’s and circuit court’s opinions on employer power to limit access to communications systems and notes the troubling persistence in the lack of clarity in this area. Observing that email is now migrating to smartphones and beyond, the author recommends comprehensive revisions in this area to address the fundamental questions of employees’ organizational and personal time rights during worktime.
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