The National Labor Relations Board is reviewing a case that could give employees the right to use company email to mount a union-organizing campaign.

The challenge to longstanding email guidelines by the NLRB's general counsel and the Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, could mean that employees could use their employer's communications devices in altogether new ways – so long as they get their work done in a timely fashion.

This latest attempt by the Democrat-dominated NLRB to undo the work of the Bush-era board stems from a case involving Rocklin, California-based Purple Communications. The company operates several call centers that enable deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to talk to one another and to those who do not have hearing disabilities.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.