Well, no one who has been reading this blog should be surprised by the news tonight out of the General Assembly.
The topic covers how the evolving world of new social media is constantly churning up interesting legal issues and problems. The panel will present insights on some of the…
The NLRB, right now, is union-friendly. We know it. Employers know it. Politicians know it. The unions know it.
It’s stacked 3-2 with Democrat appointees so the NLRB taking its training wheels off and is doing what it has always done. It has shifted its decisions based on the politics.
Yesterday represented just the latest in a long line of decisions where the NLRB has suddenly “seen the light” from a prior decision and overrules itself without much real logic.
It’s not right or wrong. This is just how the NLRB works. When Republicans controlled the Board, it did the same thing.
The NLRB rewrites its decisions. And creates fantastical changes with the use of a crayon (or pen, or keyboard) — just like that childhood story about Harold.
So, yesterday’s decision in Purple Communications, Inc. regarding the usage of an employer’s e-mail system should come as no surprise (and won’t be if you attended my firm’s Labor & Employment seminar in October where we talked about this case coming down just like this.)
I asked one of our labor gurus and a frequent blog contributor Jarad Lucan, to first recap what is going on. He talked about this case at our October seminar:
Oh, 2007. Those were the days for employers.
The Sopranos made their exit. The last Harry Potter was released.
And the NLRB issues the Register Guard decision (see Dan’s post from way back then).
The decision said that employees had no rights under labor law to use an employer’s email system, let alone to use it for statutorily protected communications, such as union organization efforts, as long as the restrictions placed on the email system by the employer were nondiscriminatory.
According to the Board:
Nothing in the Act prohibits an employer from drawing lines on a non-Section 7 basis. That is, an employer may draw a line between charitable solicitations and noncharitable solicitations, between solicitations of a personal nature (e.g., a car sale) and solicitations for the commercial sale of a product (e.g., Avon products), between invitations for an organization and invitations of a personal nature, between solicitations and mere talk, and between business-related use and non-business-related use. In each of these examples, the fact that the union solicitation would fall on the prohibited side of the line does not establish that the rule discriminates along Section 7 lines. For example, a rule that permitted charitable solicitations but not noncharitable solicitations would permit solicitations for the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, but it would prohibit solicitation for Avon and the union.
Yesterday, a divided Board overruled Register Guard declaring that it was incorrectly decided.
In its Purple Communications Inc. case, the Board held that “employee use of email for statutorily protected communications on nonworking time must presumptively be permitted by employers who have chosen to give employees access to their email system.”
Put differently, if an employer has allowed its employees to use its email system for non-work related reasons (i.e., incidental personal use), then an employer must also allow those employees to use its email system for communications protected under the Act, such as communications about union organization efforts or the scheduling of solidarity marches to protest the employer’s conduct.
The latest meme to hit the Internet won’t change that view.
Sometime yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, someone tweeted a picture of a worker from a Target store.
His name is “Alex”. We know this because of his name tag. And apparently he’s cute and…
As our big Labor Day weekend kicks off, it seems appropriate to bring back a “labor” topic, particularly when mixed with one of our favorite topics here: Social Media.
Today, my colleague Jarad Lucan returns with a case straight out of Connecticut with national implications.
You just finished interviewing a great candidate for a manager-level position at your company. She looks great on paper and interviewed well.
But you’re wondering: What dark secrets about her loom on Facebook? After all, you did see that tattoo on her arm and she mentioned a fun time at Bonnaroo 2013.
Since the last time I published a list of labor & employment law lawyers to follow back in 2012, there are just a bunch of you out there now using Twitter. (And I presume you’re already following me @danielschwartz, right?)
So, it’s probably time to update my list of labor & employment law-related people…
If it seems that there are more social media apps out there than ever before, you’re not going crazy. No longer do employers just have to worry about Facebook. Rather, a whole host of sites has popped up leading to new headaches and challenges for employers.
There was a point when I looked at my schedule a few weeks ago and wondered how exactly I had agreed to the number of speaking engagements that I had.
Even after I turned down at least a half dozen.
Some are employment law-based, and some are geared to the profession as a…
With all that was going on with the holidays, my colleague Peter Murphy reminds us that ownership of work-related social media is not an issue to take lightly. Why? Well, let Peter take the story from there….
Back in May, Dan posted some very helpful advice to employers about ownership of work-related social media accounts. …