Notice to Employees
From: Morris, Susan
Sent: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 11:14 AM
Subject: NLRB Email Settlement
Management has settled an unfair labor practice charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board by Susan Morris (CDP-Brooklyn) that challenged management’s ban on use of the Society’s email system for Union email.
As reflected in the materials below, the NLRB charge arose after CDP chief Tina Luongo threatened Susan with sanctions for having posted a message (below) that stated: “Long gone are the days when anyone with a union card has a voice in LAS.” In response to NLRB investigation, Scott Rosenberg (LAS Counsel) and Susan Morris signed a Settlement Agreement (attached) that requires management to comply with Purple Communications, 361 NLRB No. 126 (2014), under which union members cannot be prohibited from using work email to communicate about “the terms and conditions of employment [and] protected concerted activity.”
On September 18, pursuant to this agreement, Allan Fox posted a mandatory NLRB notice (attached) informing all employees, inter alia, that “WE HAVE AMENDED our e-mail policy in our employee handbook to allow employees to use out email system to communicate about terms and conditions of employment,” and that “WE WILL NOT threaten employees with adverse action for using our e-mail system to communicate about terms and conditions of employment on nonworking time.”
This is the second recent victory for free speech at Legal Aid. On May 1, Seymour James upheld a grievance (endorsed by ALAA) challenging management’s email restrictions against Michael Letwin (CDP-Brooklyn) for sending a message entitled “Racial Justice Update: Black and Palestinian Lives Matter.” That decision was issued two weeks after the public statement In Defense of Free Speech at The Legal Aid Society (April 14, 2015), signed by 118 ALAA and 1199 union members.
These victories show, once again, that we can successfully defend and exercise our rights. The next step is to ensure that management fully respects those rights by restoring ALAA’s longstanding, workplace-based email discussion list; lifting its prohibition on “unapproved” messages regarding Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements; and ending the indefensible discrimination that censors antiwar and Palestine human rights advocacy, while turning a blind eye to all manner of other “non-work” messages.
Notice to Employees
Purple Communications, 361 NLRB No. 126 (2014)
Racial Justice Update: Black and Palestinian Lives Matter (March 6, 2015)
In Defense of Free Speech at The Legal Aid Society (April 14, 2015)
Great News: Free Speech Victory (June 23, 2015)
From: Fox, Allan
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2015 11:57 AM
To: LAS All
Subject: Amendment to our e-mail policy
We are notifying you of an amendment to our e-mail policy pursuant to a Settlement Agreement Approved by the Regional Director of Region Two of the National Labor Relations Board in Case 02-CA- 148285. The amendment conforms our e-mail policy to recent decisions of the Board. A copy of the revised policy may be found on LASnet hereand at pp. 41-44 of the Employee Handbook.
From: “Luongo, Justine”
Date:03/08/2015 1:54 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: “Morris, Susan”
Cc: “Ryan, Dawn” ,”Wright, Deborah” ,”Pate, Michael”
Subject: Re: RE:
Susan- this is precisely the type of email that I indicated is a violation of the policy. You have already been spoken to about this by your supervisors. Should you continue to use the email in this way, your use of all distribution lists will be suspended.
Sent from my iPhone. Apologies for any typos.
On Mar 8, 2015, at 1:46 PM, Morris, Susan <email@example.com> wrote:
Long gone are the days when anyone with a union card has a voice in LAS.