• NLRB’s Latest Guidance on Employee Use of Social Networking Sites
  • June 21, 2012 | Author: Karen A. Salvemini
  • Law Firm: Rhoads & Sinon LLP - Harrisburg Office
  • On May 30, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued its third report on social media issues, this time focusing exclusively on policies governing the use of social media by employees.  The report identifies seven social media policies and analyzes the legality of each policy.  Of the seven policies, only one policy was found to be lawful in its entirety.

    Provisions were found to be unlawful in the six social media policies because those particular provisions interfered with the employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  In particular, the provisions interfered with the employees’ rights to discuss wages and working conditions with coworkers.  The provisions contained no limiting language or context that would clarify to employees that the particular provision did not restrict their rights under the NLRA. 

    In regard to the policy found to be lawful in its entirety, the NLRB stressed that the policy was acceptable due to the fact that it provided specific examples of clearly illegal or unprotected activity.  These examples provided employees with a framework in which they could use social networking sites to discuss their terms and conditions of employment, such as salaries and working conditions, as permitted under the NLRA. 

    Employers should review their social media policies to ensure compliance with this latest NLRB guidance.  In particular, employers should consider reviewing the language from the social media policy determined to be lawful in its entirety to determine appropriate language for inclusion in their own social media policies.