Social Media: Balancing the Risk                     1
Social Networking• A large percentage of U.S. workers use or engage   in social media on a daily basis.• In 2011, 36.6 mil...
Few Established Social Media Rules Few Established Social Media Rules• Laws relating to the lawfulness of social media  La...
The Current National Labor Relations           Board (“NLRB”)              d (“      ”)• The current NLRB has 5 members ap...
The NLRB s Enforcement Priorities  The NLRB’s Enforcement Priorities• The Acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon  The Ac...
National Labor Relations Act Section 7National Labor Relations Act Section 7 “Employees shall have the right to self  Empl...
What is  Concerted Activity ?     What is “Concerted Activity”?• Employee conduct that addresses working       p oyee co d...
Examples of Unprotected Social ActivityExamples of Unprotected Social Activity• Comments that do not pertain to work‐relat...
How this Affects a Company’s Social             Medial Policy               d l l• Employees have a protected Section  7 r...
SMP Rules of Thumb           SMP Rules of Thumb• An SMP is unlawful upon a showing that:  An SMP is unlawful upon a showin...
Hypotheticals• The Terminated Telemarketer  The Terminated Telemarketer• Th P i i  The Pernicious Paramedic               ...
Considerations• Review your Social Media Policy  Review your Social Media Policy  – How is social media defined?  – How do...
Considerations• Train and ensure your HR partners are aware  Train and ensure your HR partners are aware   of your company...
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Social Media: Balancing the Risk - Presentation: Susan L. Jeffus, MoneyGram International - Chief Litigation Officer Summit

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For more information: emailus@marcusevans.com

Susan L. Jeffus from MoneyGram International and a speaker at the marcus evans Chief Litigation Officer Summit Fall 2102, held in Las Vegas, NV, delivered her presentation entitled "Social Media: Balancing the Risk".

Join the 2015 Summit along with top Chief Litigation Officers and service providers in an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping the legal industry today.
For more information: emailus@marcusevans.com

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Social Media: Balancing the Risk - Presentation: Susan L. Jeffus, MoneyGram International - Chief Litigation Officer Summit

  1. 1. Social Media: Balancing the Risk 1
  2. 2. Social Networking• A large percentage of U.S. workers use or engage  in social media on a daily basis.• In 2011, 36.6 million people used social media as  part of their job search activities. – Facebook: • 950 million users Twitter: 170 million users LinkedIn: 96 million users• However,  applicable rules and laws have not yet been  fully defined by the National Labor Relations Board or  f ll d fi d b h N i lL b R l i B d courts. 2
  3. 3. Few Established Social Media Rules Few Established Social Media Rules• Laws relating to the lawfulness of social media Laws relating to the lawfulness of social media  policies (“SMPs”) continue to develop as do  laws relating to the protected nature of  laws relating to the protected nature of employee’s social media postings.• The law is still evolving regarding: The law is still evolving regarding: – Employees’ rights to use social media –E l Employers’ rights to limit employees use ’ i h li i l 3
  4. 4. The Current National Labor Relations  Board (“NLRB”) d (“ ”)• The current NLRB has 5 members appointed by President  Obama.• It is tasked with preventing and/or remedying certain  practices committed by private or public sector employers.• Employer’s legal landscape has changed dramatically in the  last 22 months due to decisions made by the Obama Board. – The Board has expanded the definition of “protected activities”  p p and “concerted activities” for purposes of anti‐retaliation  protection. – The Board has increased remedies  relating to employer unfair  labor practices. l b ti – The Board has changed the standard and definition of lawful  SMPs. 4
  5. 5. The NLRB s Enforcement Priorities The NLRB’s Enforcement Priorities• The Acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon The Acting NLRB General Counsel, Lafe Solomon,  publicly has stated that the NLRB has a  heightened priority regarding social media. g p y g g – “It’s the same as talking at the water cooler. The point  is that employees have protection under the law to  talk to each other about conditions at work.” – Solomon also has stated publicly that he believes  most employer’s social media policies are overbroad.  t l ’ i l di li i b d 5
  6. 6. National Labor Relations Act Section 7National Labor Relations Act Section 7 “Employees shall have the right to self Employees shall have the right to self  organization to form, join, or assist labor  organizations, to bargain collectively through  organizations to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to  engage in other concerted activities for the  engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other  mutual aid or protection … mutual aid or protection ” 6
  7. 7. What is  Concerted Activity ? What is “Concerted Activity”?• Employee conduct that addresses working  p oyee co duct t at add esses o g conditions. p y g p p g• Employee conduct seeking to initiate or preparing  for group action.• Employees’ water cooler talk about working  conditions or complaints about a co‐worker or  boss who adversely affect working conditions.• Di Discussion initiated or through social media  i i iti t d th h i l di about terms and conditions of employment.• The activity must involve more than one The activity must involve more than one  employee to be deemed concerted activity. 7
  8. 8. Examples of Unprotected Social ActivityExamples of Unprotected Social Activity• Comments that do not pertain to work‐related  matters are not protected. matters are not protected• Individualized complaints are generally not  protected. protected• Content that is extremely offensive, overly  disparaging or defamatory or discriminatory is not  disparaging or defamatory or discriminatory is not protected. – However, just because a post contains swearing or  ,j p g sarcasm does not mean it is overly disparaging or  defamatory. 8
  9. 9. How this Affects a Company’s Social  Medial Policy d l l• Employees have a protected Section  7 right to  p y p g discuss terms and conditions of employment through  a public venue such as social media.• Employers have a duty to protect their employees  l h d h l Section 7 rights. – Through lawful SMPs Through lawful SMPs – Through informed and thoughtful HR practices• A lawsuit is waiting to happen if a company takes  adverse action against an employee for exercising  his/her Section 7 rights. 9
  10. 10. SMP Rules of Thumb SMP Rules of Thumb• An SMP is unlawful upon a showing that: An SMP is unlawful upon a showing that: – A reasonable employee would believe a Section 7  activity is not allowed activity is not allowed – It is ambiguous or overbroad  – It was created in order to chill union activity It was created in order to chill union activity 10
  11. 11. Hypotheticals• The Terminated Telemarketer The Terminated Telemarketer• Th P i i The Pernicious Paramedic P di• Th S The Sassy Salesclerk S l l k 11
  12. 12. Considerations• Review your Social Media Policy Review your Social Media Policy – How is social media defined? – How do you define appropriate social media How do you define appropriate social media  behavior? – How do you police the use of company‐issued How do you police the use of company‐issued  equipment? 12
  13. 13. Considerations• Train and ensure your HR partners are aware Train and ensure your HR partners are aware  of your company’s social media policy and  possible pitfalls. – Push the message down to managers and  supervisors.• Ensure your current and new employees are  aware of your SMP.• Keep aware of and informed about NLRB  reports and rulings. 13

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