In follow up to our previous post (May 9, 2011) regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) treatment of social media, the NLRB released further guidance in an effort to assist employers in evaluating the legality of social media policies and practices. The NLRB’s social media report analyzes 14 cases, involving both social media policies and employee discharge for posting comments to Facebook. The cases covered provide examples of both lawful and unlawful policies and conduct. The NLRB released a similar compilation of cases in 2011, making clear that there has been no shortage of alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) stemming from the realm of social media.
According to the NLRB, the report underscores two main points:
- Employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees; and
- An employee’s comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activity among employees.
The NLRB continues to track and evaluate all cases involving social media and this will undoubtedly continue to be a hot topic for the foreseeable future. Employers are advised to consider the NLRB’s new guidance and to ensure that their social media policies and practices are in accordance with the law.
If you have any questions, please contact Berchem, Moses & Devlin.