Restricting Employee E-mail Usage for Union Activities

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently reversed its own Obama-era ruling and held that employees now have no statutory right to use an employer’s equipment, including work emails and IT resources. The new Caesar’s Entertainment decision holds that employees’ statutory rights to engage in protected, Section 7 activities under the National Labor Relations Act must yield to the property rights of employers to control the use of their equipment, provided that employers do not target union-related communications and activity and that employees have reasonable alternate means of communication available to them. Therefore, employers may now legally restrict the use of their e-mail system, even for union organizing activities or for other activities protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

 

Requiring Confidentiality in Workplace Investigations

The NLRB just ruled that employers may once again require confidentiality from employees involved in open workplace investigations. This decision in Apogee Retail LLC reverses the NLRB’s Obama-era Banner Health decision, which had prohibited employers from demanding that employees keep the details of internal investigations confidential. The new decision also resolves conflicting commands from the NLRB and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding investigation confidentiality. Now employers can be reasonably assured that they may require their employees to keep confidential the details of active internal investigations.