May. 30 2012

NLRB Issues Memo on Social Media Policies

Topics: Personnel Policies and Procedures, Social Media

Today, Acting General Counsel of the NLRB, Lafe Solomon, issued a report on findings from cases addressing the legality of various employers' social media policies.  The NLRB report is the third NLRB report addressing social media issues, with two prior reports having been issued in August 2011 and January 2012.  Whereas the prior reports dealt primarily with the legality of employee terminations stemming from social media use, today's report deals solely with social media policies.  The report provides several examples of broadly worded policy provisions determined to be unlawful because they "could be interpreted" to restrict employees' Section 7 rights to engage in concerted activity and discuss the terms and conditions of their employment.  By way of example, policies that broadly preclude employees from posting or discussing any type of "confidential" information on social media sites are overbroad unless defined NOT to preclude employees from engaging in Section 7 rights protected by the NLRA.  Employers should review this most recent NLRB report in considering any appropriate changes to social media policies.  The report is available here.

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Robin Largent represents employers, including major food and retail companies, in all types of employment litigation: wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, wage and hour (California Labor Code) and unfair competition. She also regularly counsels and advises California employers on issues of compliance with California and federal employment laws.
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