Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


The National Labor Relations Board’s decision in Register Guard Company (Register Guard) set new precedent regarding employee rights to use employer email systems to discuss protected activities under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. The decision established two new rules of law regarding employer email policies: first, employers have a property interest in their email systems, and may, therefore, create email policies prohibiting non-work related emails including Section 7 related communications. Second, employers may enforce email limitations differently between union and non-union related emails, so long as the enforcement is not made “along Section 7 lines.” This Article analyzes Register Guard and its potential impact on employers, and includes practice pointers for employers generating and enforcing email policies to avoid violating the National Labor Relations Act.

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