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

January 19, 2015

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 Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Here a few examples of lawful work rules accompanied by an explanation of why they are acceptable under federal law. Here are a few examples:

Rule 1: A rule forbidding social media posts that are “slanderous or detrimental to the company,” which then included a list of prohibited conduct including “sexual or racial harassment” and “sabotage.”

The NLRB contends this policy would not be reasonably understood to restrict Section 7 activity based on the list of provided examples.

Rule 2: A rule requiring employees to maintain the confidentiality of the employer’s trade secrets.

Employees have no protected right to disclose trade secrets. This rule is permissible where the employer provides sufficient examples of prohibited disclosures for employees to understand that it does not reach protected communications about working conditions.

Rule 3: A rule requiring an employee to receive prior authorization before posting a message that is either in the employer’s name or could reasonably be attributed to the employer.

A rule that requires an employee to receive prior authorization before posting a message either in the employer’s name or could reasonably be attributed to the employer cannot be reasonably construed to restrict employees’ exercise of the their Section 7 rights.

Want to Learn Work Rules to Manage Employee Social Media Use?

In my next webinar, I will teach you about important labor and employment law issues in the context of social media in the workplace and how to manage employee social media use.

January 22 | 12:00-1:30 est | $150 Live or OnDemand

1.5 Hours of CLE Credits Approved in Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Nevada

Approval Pending in California and Georgia

Register Now for "Should You Fire over Facebook"Social media law attorney, author, professor, and keynote speaker Ethan Wall will:

  • Identify protected employee speech under the NLRA
  • Distinguish the lawfulness of discipline for employee social media use
  • Analyze legal from illegal social media policies and rules
  • Teach you how to draft lawful social media policies
  • Set forth techniques to maximize compliance with federal labor law

Questions?

Email: webinars@socialmedialawandorder.com

Call: (407)484-5100


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