Heather Sherrod

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NLRB Reviews and Approves Northwestern University’s Revised Football Handbook Social Media Policy

On January 1, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released an advice memorandum (dated September 22, 2016) that reviewed and approved Northwestern University’s revised Football Handbook’s social media policy. The NLRB Office of the General Counsel, which prepared the advice memorandum, was asked to advise whether the university’s Football Handbook policies, including its social … Continue reading

Not all employee complaints on Twitter are concerted activity

Earlier this year, we discussed that a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge found that an employee’s tweets could be considered protected “concerted activity” in Chipotle Services LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill.  As a reminder, the administrative law judge determined that portions of Chipotle’s outdated Social Media Code of Conduct policy violated the … Continue reading

NLRB seeks cases on internal co. messaging

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in March of 2016 issued memorandum 16-01 requiring the Board’s Regional Offices, which investigate and prosecute unfair labor practices, to submit all cases or complaints related to employee e-mail and other electronic systems to the NLRB Division of Advice.  The General Counsel explained in the … Continue reading

Asking employee to delete Twitter posts can be unlawful

On March 14, 2016, the popular chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill, was found to have violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it asked an employee to delete posts on his Twitter account about the company. Specifically, in Chipotle Services LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill and Pennsylvania Workers Organizing Committee, a National Labor Relations Board … Continue reading

NLRB approves social media policy disclaimer language

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently released another advice memorandum providing enforcement guidance on employer social media policies. This time, the OGC reviewed a company social medial policy which required employees to post a specific disclaimer that they were sharing their own views and not the … Continue reading

Facebook “Likes” Found to Be Protected Activity

On August 22, 2014, in Three D. LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) after terminating employees for commenting on and “Liking” a former employee’s Facebook post. In January 2011, a former Triple Play employee complained on her … Continue reading

Employer potentially liable for disability discrimina-tion after facebook comment

On June 23, 2014, in Shoun v. Best Formed Plastics, a federal judge declined to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the plaintiff’s former employer, Best Formed Plastics, violated the Americans With Disabilities Act after it wrongfully disclosed his confidential medical information via a Facebook post. While employed at Best, the plaintiff, George Shoun, spent several … Continue reading

NLRB to reconsider legality of employer email use policies

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is reconsidering whether companies may lawfully maintain policies that prohibit employees from using company e-mail and electronic communications systems for personal use. In 2007, the NLRB ruled that employees have no statutory right to use their employer’s e-mail system for Section 7 purposes. Section 7 protects an employee’s right … Continue reading

Blog posts, commercial speech and false advertising

In Goodman v. Does, plaintiff Todd Goodman alleged various defamation and federal unfair competition (Lanham Act) claims stemming from postings on the website localdirtags.com, a blog, which was run by the defendant Linda Lagoy. Goodman v. Does 1–10, No. 4:13–CV–139, 2014 WL 1310310 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 28, 2014). The court noted that Goodman, who was a licensed … Continue reading

Settlement forfeited over Facebook post

Civil lawsuits are most frequently resolved by an out of court settlement. Employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuits are no exception. When a company makes the business decision to settle a civil lawsuit, the company generally requires the plaintiff(s) to agree to  terms of confidentiality and requires that confidentiality provision be included in the settlement agreement. A confidentiality provision … Continue reading

Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean: Private facebook posts are protected

On August 29, 2013, the District of New Jersey ruled that the federal Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) covers “private” Facebook wall posts.  The plaintiff, a registered nurse and paramedic, sued her former employer in federal court asserting a number of claims including violations of the SCA.  The SCA prohibits unauthorized access of stored wire and … Continue reading

Policies banning photos, videos and confidential information unlawful

On July 15, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released a memorandum providing further guidance on whether a company’s social media policy could be construed to stifle protected, concerted activity.  Over the last two years, the NLRB Office of the General Counsel has issued several memoranda discussing the validity of employer social media policies … Continue reading

Gripes and rants on Facebook: Not protected concerted activity

On May 8, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released a memorandum providing guidance on whether an employee’s Facebook comments with current and former co-workers constituted protected, concerted activity. The memorandum was prepared in response to an employer’s request for advice about whether it violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) … Continue reading

The NLRB and employer social media policies

The highly respected Pew Center recently released its demographic data on social media usage. The data shows that regardless of age, race, sex, education, or income, well over half of the adults in the United States who use the internet, use social media.  It is therefore reasonable that employers would formally address their expectations of … Continue reading

Owning your social media: Drafting a social media use policy

As more companies recognize the brand value created and sustained through social media, there is greater interest in preserving social media accounts for company use and retaining the follower, member or “friend” base that has been built over time. Simultaneously, an increasing number of employees believe that the social media accounts are not company property … Continue reading
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