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LAW ALERT: The NLRB’s Facebook Case: Employers Should Review Their Policies Dealing With Social Media

Posted in Employee Privacy Rights, Labor Law, Retaliation and Wrongful Termination

The National Labor Relations Board recently created significant uncertainty about the permissible scope of an employer’s social media policy. The Board issued a complaint against an employer who fired an employee for posting negative comments about her supervisor on her Facebook page.

All employers, unionized or not, should have their electronic use/social networking policies reviewed. These policies should consider the following: (1) policies can prohibit employees from using social networking sites to make disparaging comments unrelated to work; (2) social networking policies that completely prohibit criticism of the company or its management are likely to be viewed as overbroad; (3) employee may be prohibited from using social networking sites to make statements that are abusive, libelous or obscene; and (4) employees may be prohibited from making anticompetitive, disloyal statements through social media sites. 

A hearing on the NLRB Facebook case is scheduled for January 2011. We will keep you updated regarding this case following the hearing.