Employees may now legally use an employer's email system for organizing and collective bargaining purposes.

In its decision in Purple Communications Inc., the NLRB overturned the 2007 ruling in Register Guard that allowed employers to use sanctions against employees who used a company email system for "non-work" purposes.

The Register Guard decision raised a storm of protest from employees and unions, primarily because they felt limited personal use access of an employer email system violated their rights under Section 7 of the act that spells out the rules for union organizing.

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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.