NLRB’s newest report scrutinizes social media policies and provides a sample lawful policy
13 June 2012Employment Alert
Acknowledging that “(e)mployee use of social media as it relates to the workplace continues to increase, raising various concerns by employers,” on 30 May 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe E. Solomon issued his third and latest report on social media cases. The prior two reports, which were issued on 18 August 2011 and 24 January 2012, summarized a total of 28 cases that had been investigated by the General Counsel’s office. While these prior reports evaluated various actions taken by employers in response to employee use of social media, the third report provides specific guidance on how to construct a lawful social media policy. In the report, Solomon takes a narrow view of what types of policy provisions are acceptable and instructs, for example, that certain confidentiality provisions, rules against “friending” co-workers, and blanket prohibitions of disparaging remarks are unlawful because they unduly restrict employees’ rights to discuss working conditions and terms and conditions of employment under the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act”).