NLRB Issues Third Social Media Report
The Acting General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a third report on employee use of social media.
The third report focuses exclusively on employer policies governing employees’ use of social media. The two previous reports involved discharges based on Facebook posts and were released in January 2012, and August, 2011.
Employer policies that interfere with the rights of employees to discuss wages and working conditions with co-workers can be unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act. These may include social media and electronic information policies, confidentiality and privacy policies and media contact policies.
The NLRB has filed charges against employers for disciplining workers who posted negative comments about supervisors or about the company on personal social media pages (such as Facebook).
The report discusses seven cases involving employer policies. In six of the cases, the NLRB found some provisions of the employer policies to be unlawful.
In the seventh case, the General Counsel’s office concluded that the entire social media policy was lawful under the NLRA, and attached the complete policy.
In releasing the memo, Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon said that he hoped “that this report, with its specific examples of various employer policies and rules, will provide additional guidance in this area.
Gail Cecchettini Whaley, CalChamber Employment Law Editor/Staff Counsel