Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overruled three major decisions from the Obama administration:
Valley Hospital Medical Center – December 16, 2019
Under this ruling employers no longer must continue deducting union dues after the collective bargaining agreement that established the checkoff arrangement expired.
Caesars Entertainment d/b/a Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino – December 17, 2019
With this ruling, the NLRB took the position that work e-mail may be restricted to business purposes in most instances. Companies, both unionized and nonunionized, can ban employees from using work e-mail for nonbusiness purposes, including soliciting for union-related issues. The Board noted an exception. In rare cases where an employer’s email system furnishes the only reasonable means for employees to communicate with one another.
However, the ruling recognizes that it’s often impractical for employers to impose a blanket restriction, and many allow access with reasonable use restrictions. If such access is allowed, the policy cannot be discriminately applied to union-related issues.
Apogee Retail LLC d/b/a Unique Thrift Store – December 17, 2019
This ruling addressed the confidentiality of investigations. The decision was two-pronged. For on-going investigations, confidentiality rules are lawful and can apply for the duration of the investigation. Once the investigation is closed, confidentiality rules are subject to greater scrutiny and require a legitimate business purpose.
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