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Email Critiques Legally Protected

Is there a better--or quicker--way to find out what employees think about possible changes in employee benefits than to ask them to respond via email? In these days of desktop computer and traveling laptops, probably not. However, don't be thin-skinned like one company CEO who recently demanded that an employee, who had been critical of the proposed changes in the vacation policy--and emailed the CEO and others with his comments--make a public apology or be fired. The National Labor Relations Board ordered the worker reinstated and dismissed the company's argument that the employee had misused the email system because the company had no policy that prohibited employees from distributing email messages critical of company policy.

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