NLRB Reports on Employers’ Social Media Policies
What rights do employers have to limit the social-media use of their employees? The law addressing that question is rapidly evolving. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently published a report on employers’ social-media policies, the third report on the subject in less than a year.
The report describes six employer social-media policies that the NLRB alleges violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and one revised policy that the NLRB found lawful. At issue was whether the policies infringed the rights of employees under Section 7 of the NLRA, which gives employees the right to engage in "concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”
The NLRB claimed that each of the six policies it deemed unlawful had at least one of the following problems:
- The policy language was vague or overly broad;
- The policy required employees to get permission to exercise their Section 7 rights;
- The policy would be reasonably understood to restrict employees’ Section 7 rights to communicate; and
- The employer’s attempts to mandate the tone or content of online communications infringed on employees’ rights.
The NRLB did approve of one policy: a revised policy that Wal-Mart adopted after an employee filed an unfair labor-practice complaint alleging that the company’s original policy violated the NLRA. Even though the revised policy prohibited “inappropriate” online postings, the NLRB concluded that the policy was not ambiguous or overly broad because the policy provided “sufficient examples of prohibited conduct so that, in context, employees would not reasonably read the rules to prohibit Section 7 activity.”
WeComply’s online social media compliance training course provides up-to-date guidance to employees to help them use social media appropriately and responsibly.Categories: General Business Compliance
Tags: Social Media