In a memo dated October 31, 2022, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced her intention to protect employees, to the greatest extent possible, from intrusive or abusive electronic monitoring and automated management practices through vigorously enforcing current law and by urging the Board to apply settled labor-law principles in a new framework.
The memo describes various technologies that are increasingly being used to closely monitor and manage employees. For instance, some employers record workers’ conversations and track their movements using wearable devices, cameras, radio-frequency identification badges and GPS tracking devices. And some employers monitor employees’ computers with keyloggers and software that takes screenshots, webcam photos, or audio recordings throughout the day. Employers may use this data to manage employee productivity, including disciplining employees who fall short of quotas, penalizing employees for taking leave, and providing individualized directives throughout the workday.
The General Counsel will urge the Board to adopt a new framework for protecting employees from employers’ abuse of technology by holding that an employer has presumptively violated the Act where an employer’s surveillance and management practices, viewed as a whole, would tend to interfere with or prevent a reasonable employee from engaging in activity protected by the Act.
Stuart J. Oberman, Esq.
Stuart J. Oberman is the founder and President of Oberman Law Firm. Mr. Oberman graduated from Urbana University and received his law degree from John Marshall Law School. Mr. Oberman has been practicing law for over 28 years, and before going into private practice, Mr. Oberman was in-house counsel for a Fortune 500 Company.
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