Attorney Michelle Radie-Coffin of Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. has authored a new article which has been published in the New Hampshire Business Review.
The article describes the surprising fact that businesses cannot prevent employees from using their work-provided email for non-work purposes. This is according to a decision made last year by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), who over the past two years has looked through numerous employee handbooks. The found that the broad language used to describe company policies is insufficient for an all-out ban of non-work-related email communications.
The NLRB reasons that banning work email would interfere with an employee’s efforts to “organize and engage in concerted, protected activities,” and that a ban would be akin to banning oral solicitation during non-working time. The NLRB’s goal is to protect the rights of employees; in this case, it is to protect the rights of employees to talk amongst themselves about workplace issues or distribute solicitation or fundraising information. Companies now have to more careful about the language they use to create rules for using their email system if they wish to exclude usage for non-work-related purposes.
Michelle is an associate at Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. practicing in the areas of business law, real estate law, employment law, immigration law, and estate planning. Over the past two decades, she has created and operated a number of small businesses in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In addition to her contributions to the legal field, she also is highly involved with her community, serving on the advisory boards of two schools, on a school safety issue committee, and as the founder of a local non-profit organization.
To learn more about Michelle Radie-Coffin, please click here.