NLRB Allows Employers to Restrict Employees’ Email

In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) reversed a 2014 decision that gave employees the presumptive right to use their employer’s email system for non-work-related purposes during nonworking time. In the new decision, the NLRB instead ruled that employers retained the right to restrict employee use of an employer’s email system, so long as it did so on a nondiscriminatory basis. This could have a significant impact on employees’ ability to organize for labor purposes.

The new ruling, Caesars Entertainment dba Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino, the NLRB considered a case where employees were using their employer’s email system when not working to organize for labor purposes. While employers undeniably have a right to control their own property, including their company’s email systems, employees also undeniably have a right under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to communicate for labor organizing. The question is whether the employer’s property right or the employees’ labor rights takes precedence.

Previously, in 2014’s Purple Communications, Inc., the NLRB ruled that an employee who is given access to an employer’s email system has a presumptive right to use that system for labor organizing purposes protected by Section 7 of the NLRA, provided they do not do it during work hours. In the new decision, this was reversed, allowing employers to deny employee access to the email system for labor purposes, provided they do not discriminate in doing so. The only exception to this rule is if there is no other available means for employees to reasonably conduct Section 7 protected activity, but this is a very narrow exception.

               If you are looking into unionizing, or you already have a union and are in a dispute with your employer, give the Law Offices of Steve Sack a call. Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer who has considerable experience in handling the many aspects of labor and employment law. To schedule a consultation with New York City employment lawyer Steve Mitchell Sack, call (917) 371-8000.

What is an Independent Contractor?

When most people think of the relationship between an employer and a worker, they envision something like the archetypical employee. The worker goes into the place where they’re employed, works however long they’re scheduled to work, and goes home at the end of the day. However, some workers aren’t employees, but are instead independent contractors, and things work a little differently for them. Continue reading “What is an Independent Contractor?”

Five Things to Know About Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an unpleasant, but unfortunately common, part of the modern workplace. Men and women alike must deal with coworkers and superiors who do not respect their boundaries and see no problem in using their position to pressure others with improper behavior. However, there are steps you can take if you have been the victim of sexual harassment, and knowing your rights can help protect you, or at least redress the harm you’ve suffered. Continue reading “Five Things to Know About Workplace Sexual Harassment”

The Scourge of Misclassified Employees

Under federal law, there are two primary kinds of paid workers: employees, and independent contractors. And whether intentionally or accidentally, employers are mixing up the two, to the detriment of their own workers. Being misclassified can have major financial and legal implications to an employee, and it’s important to know what to do if you think you’ve been misclassified. Continue reading “The Scourge of Misclassified Employees”

When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky

When people think of employment discrimination, whether based on gender, race, age, sexuality or disability, they usually have a specific picture of what that looks like. They imagine bigoted tirades or inappropriate physical contact, or managers or executives outright declaring their refusal to treat certain kinds of people as equals. That said, with employers now more conscious of lawsuits than ever, discrimination can often take more subtle forms. Continue reading “When Employment Discrimination Gets Sneaky”

What You Should Know About the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC” Act

The media cycle of the past year has been flooded with hundreds of stories of sexual harassment committed by those in positions of power. People are becoming less afraid of sharing their experiences with sexual harassment, which has sparked the #MeToo movement which seeks to unveil the sexual harassment and assault that too often has been concealed. Many of the stories of sexual harassment that have come into the spotlight have been those that have allegedly occurred between employers and employees such as those allegedly involving Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. Continue reading “What You Should Know About the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC” Act”

New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program Begins

What constitutes paid family leave and whether employers should be required to offer it has been a widely debated topic for decades. Recently, New York State has taken a step forward in this issue by granting employees new rights regarding family leave. As of the first day of the new year, the laws outlining employees’ eligibility for paid family leave have been improved in New York State to make it one of the most generous plans in the nation. The program for New York State will be phased in over the course of the next four years, beginning with 8 weeks of paid leave and eventually growing to 12 weeks of paid leave by 2021.
Continue reading “New York State’s Paid Family Leave Program Begins”

Amendment to NYC Human Rights Law For Reasonable Accommodation Requests

A recent amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law now requires employers to handle employee requests for reasonable accommodations in a specific manner. The New York City Council amended the law, which takes effect on October 15, 2018, in response to employers’ failure to acknowledge and appropriately handle requests for reasonable accommodations by their employees. The amendment requires employers to participate in a cooperative discussion with an employee who needs accommodations for:
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What Employees Should Know About Employer Medical Information Requests

Employees get asked questions from their employers on a day-to-day basis. Some questions are innocent, while other questions may seem a little more personal. Either way, employees are not usually hesitant to answer employer questions, as they assume that any question asked must be necessary for the employer to know. While in many cases this may be true, when it comes to prying into an employee’s medical information, there are laws that protect employees from having to disclose. Continue reading “What Employees Should Know About Employer Medical Information Requests”

Sexual Harassment Doesn’t Only Happen Between Males And Females

New York City has statutes protecting employees from sexual harassment and other offensive conduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment includes sexual remarks, images, jokes, or any other conduct by a co-worker or superior that creates a hostile or intolerable work environment. Most sexual harassment claims are made between female employees regarding the actions of male coworkers or supervisors. However, sexual harassment claims are not limited to acts committed by men against women. In a recent case, according to the New York City Commission on Human Rights, a female chief executive officer (CEO) made inappropriate sexual remarks towards female employees. Continue reading “Sexual Harassment Doesn’t Only Happen Between Males And Females”