FEDS Issue An Excellent Social Media Policy For Employers
We have received a number of requests regarding a social media policy. It is a difficult area simply because it is an emerging issue based upon media technology and innovative ways that people can now communicate with each other. Employers, as a result of not having an effective social media policy in place, have landed in hot water because their policy in many ways was unlawful and in violation of the National Labor Relations Act.
Recently, the Acting General Counsel of the NLRB, Lafe Solomon, issued a report on findings from cases addressing the legality of various employers’ social media policies. The NLRB report is the third NLRB report addressing social media issues, with two prior reports having been issued in August 2011 and January 2012. Whereas the prior reports dealt primarily with the legality of employee terminations stemming from social media use, today’s report deals solely with social media policies. The report provides several examples of broadly worded policy provisions determined to be unlawful because they “could be interpreted” to restrict employees’ Section 7 rights to engage in concerted activity and discuss the terms and conditions of their employment. By way of example, policies that broadly preclude employees from posting or discussing any type of “confidential” information on social media sites are overbroad unless defined NOT to preclude employees from engaging in Section 7 rights ( basically, the right to discuss working conditions etc.) protected by the NLRA.
Based upon the above, the NLRB has created a social media policy which meets their guidelines and would be lawful for employers to use. It is an excellent policy and we have it available for your use. If you are interested in obtaining a copy go to firstname.lastname@example.org , click on “Contact us” and follow the directions to receive a copy. Do to the volume of our readership it may take a day or so for a response based upon the number of clients who may want a copy.