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NLRB: Employers May Restrict Employee Use of Office E-mail for Union Solicitation and Other Employee Organizational Activity

January 07, 2008

By John F. Wymer, III, William C. Barker, and Windsor Adams

E-mail and text-messaging have become the primary means of communicating at work, having replaced telephones, bulletin boards, and face-to-face communication. Although an employers right to regulate the use of its telephones, bulletin boards, and working time is well-established, the revolution in communications technology has created new issues for employers. In The Guard Publishing Company, the National Labor Relations Board addressed the extent to which an employer can restrict its employees use of the employers e-mail system without violating the National Labor Relations Act.