National Labor Relations Board, Social Media Guidelines
The National Labor RelationsBoard’s Social Media Report A user’s guide to navigating social media in the workplace
Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a reportwhich outlined the guidelines that they have established for social mediathrough various court cases. This slideshow will be dedicated to breakingthis report down into manageable terms for people to understand.
DISCLAIMER!!!The content in this slideshow is not meant to encourage employees to pushthe boundaries of their employer’s rules. These guidelines will not save youfrom getting fired, it will merely aid you in a possible wrongful terminationsuit.
Understanding YourRights:The main thing that thecourt will look for in awrongful terminationsuit, involving socialmedia, is the content ofwhat was the employeewas terminated for. Thiscontent must fallunder, what the NLRB hasestablished as, anemployee’s “Section 7rights.”
Understanding Your Rights:An Employee’s Section 7 rights extend to anyconversation about the workplace that canreasonably be considered as sparking adiscussion about conditions in the workplace.The NLRB has previously established thatdiscussion about one’s work environment andconditions counts as protected employeeactivity. In recent years, they have successfullyestablished that this is policy extends to therealm of social media.
How This Applies To You• You are allowed to complain about the workplace online as long as you can argue that what you were saying had to do with your work conditions• You also need to prove that you had an intended audience in mind when you publish your comments to Facebook or Twitter. Being friends with employees goes a long way.• The language that you choose to use does not matter as long as you stay within the parameters of your Section 7 rights (although inappropriate language is never a good idea).
Understanding YourRights:As social media has becomemore and moremainstream, companieseverywhere are trying to stayahead of the game by draftingsocial media policies. Bymaking these policies knownto their employees, theassumption is often that, ifviolated, the employer has aright to cite the company’ssocial media policy.However, the NLRB hasestablished that due toemployee’s “Section 8 (a) (1)rights.”
Understanding Your Rights:An employee can argue that a policy draftedby a company was unlawful under the NLRBAct. In other words, if it can be reasonablybelieved that the policy that an employee wasforced to adhere too could, in any way, restricttheir established Section 7 rights, then thatpolicy is unlawful and thus an employeecannot be held to disciplinary actions forviolating it.
How This Applies To You • Section 8 (a) (1) exists so that employees do not have to fear the social media policy boogeyman created by their firm. • As long as an employee understands and works within their Section 7 rights, they will know which parts of their employer’s social media policy holds up legally and which ones do not.
Navigating the NLRB’s Social Media Report:• As social media grows more and more important in the modern business world, it is important for those engaged in private and public discourse online to understand their rights. The NLRB works to ensure that employees have rights to combat companies from making heavy handed policies. It is therefore our responsibility to know what these rights are and how to apply them.