Evidence

When Does a Social Media Policy Violate Federal Law?

January 19, 2015

An employer’s social media policy or work rule violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if it would reasonably tend to chill employees in the exercise of their protected rights. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) uses a two-step inquiry to determine if a work rule would have such an effect. First, a rule is […]

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What are Lawful Work Rules to Manage Employee Social Media Use?

As a general rule, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found work rules and policies lawful when they provided specific examples of what was prohibited under the policy, instead of general prohibitions over certain types of social media activities. The NLRB found that the work rules presented in the following table complied with the National […]

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How to Manage Employee Social Media Use through Work Rules and Social Media Policies

Many employers now implement work rules or social media policies that are designed to manage employee social media use and protect the company from legal liability arising out of improper or illegal social media. The purpose of these work rules and policies are to place employees on notice regarding what they can and cannot do […]

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What Happens if You Wrongfully Fire an Employee for Their Social Media Activity?

If an employer terminates or disciplines an employee for engaging in protected social media activity, then the employee may file an unfair labor charge against the employer (or, most likely, the employee will visit an attorney who then files the unfair labor charge on the employees behalf). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will expeditiously […]

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Home Improvement Store Employee Fired for Griping on Facebook

Companies can face serious legal problems for firing an employee for their social media activity without first determining whether the employee’s speech is protected under federal law. Here’s a recent case where the termination was ultimately deemed lawful: The Facts In response to being reprimanded by her supervisor, the employee updated her Facebook status from […]

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Newspaper Reporter Was Fired for Tweets Unrelated to His Job

Companies can face serious legal problems for firing an employee for their social media activity without first determining whether the employee’s speech is protected under federal law. Here’s a recent case where the termination was ultimately deemed lawful: The Facts After establishing a work-related Twitter account at the newspaper’s encouragement to promote news stories, the […]

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What Social Media Activity is Not Protected Under Federal Law?

January 15, 2015

An employee’s social media activity is not protected under the NLRA if it does not seek to involve other employees, does not relate to the shared terms and conditions of employment, or is an activity that is otherwise carried out in a reckless or malicious manner. Social media activity that is not protected could include: […]

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Hospital Violates Federal Law for Firing Nurse who Commented on Facebook about an Ongoing Labor Dispute

Companies can face serious legal problems for firing an employee for their social media activity without first determining whether the employee’s speech is protected under federal law. Here’s a recent case: The Facts A nurse made an in-person presentation to his union regarding various labor disputes in connection with the employer’s “management style.” He asserted […]

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What is Protected Social Media Activity Under Federal Law?

January 5, 2015

Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) affords employees with the right to discuss their wages and other terms and conditions of employment, both among themselves and with non-employees. Employees have a protected right to seek help from third parties regarding their working conditions, including conversations with fellow employees, going to the press, speaking at a […]

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Ambulance Company Violates Federal Law for Suspending Employee for Posting Negative Comments about her Supervisor Facebook

Companies can face serious legal problems for firing an employee for their social media activity without first determining whether the employee’s speech is protected under federal law. Here’s a recent case: The Facts After an ambulance employee’s supervisor refused to assist her in preparing an incident report, the employee posted on Facebook from her home computer that […]

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