• Facebook, Twitter, and Social Media in the Workplace—Is The NLRB Your "Friend"?
  • June 2, 2011
  • Law Firm: Jones Day - Cleveland Office
  • As employees increasingly turn to Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media, both at work and in non-work settings, to comment about their workplaces, coworkers, and supervisors, employers face new and substantial risks when they attempt to regulate those communications through social media policies and disciplinary actions. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) underscored that risk when it issued two new complaints over the last few weeks involving social media. The first was against a New York nonprofit, Hispanics United of Buffalo, after it terminated five employees for criticizing their working conditions on Facebook, and the other was against a Chicago car dealership, Karl Knauz BMW, after it fired an employee who posted complaints on Facebook about the employer’s handling of a sales event. These complaints follow the Board’s three prior attempts in recent months to set the stage for litigating the lawfulness of social media policies and/or the discipline of employees for engaging in what the NLRB General Counsel views as protected activities on social media.