Topic: Employment and labor

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How to use social media – and the consequences if you step out of line

In South Africa, employees are under the mistaken belief that what they do in their time away from the office, specifically on social media, is private and beyond the reach of their employer’s control. They fail to consider that they could face disciplinary action for their online rants and comments. This could be fatal to … Continue reading

Anonymity of former employee reviews

In March of 2017, a California court of appeals prohibited the disclosure of an individual’s identity after the individual anonymously posted negative information about his former employer on the website Glassdoor. Glassdoor, Inc. operates a website that allows individuals to post reviews anonymously about their employment experiences.  One such post was published to the website … Continue reading

Private social media posts can get you kicked out of university and worse

Each year Harvard University, one of the world’s most prestigious universities, receives over 30,000 applications from prospective students for about 2,000 places in its first year class. Recently, ten of those successful applicants, due to graduate in 2021, had their offers of admission revoked before they set foot onto campus.  The reason?  The content of … Continue reading

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  As a reminder, the administrative law judge determined that portions of Chipotle’s outdated Social Media Code of Conduct policy violated the … Continue reading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

We’re back, with our top five social media stories of 2015

The Social Media Law Bulletin is back! The ongoing interest of our readers as well as the increasing impact of social media led us to re-launch the Social Media Law Bulletin. We will be bringing you coverage of one or two items approximately each week, but in the meantime, we thought we would give you … 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

Social Media Accounts After Death – Delaware’s New Law

After January 1, 2015, individuals whose wills are governed by Delaware law can have their digital assets and digital accounts accessed and controlled by their personal representatives of their estates, courtesy of a new Delaware law.  Modeled on the uniform model Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, the Delaware law vests the decedent’s personal representative … Continue reading

A picture can be worth a thousand links

From giant billboards on the highway to tiny pictures that can go viral within seconds, the use of social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr has revolutionized the advertising industry. Companies can now reach their target audiences more quickly and more effectively by taking advantage of instantaneous posting of pictures and blogs. The use … 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

Shared Social Media Accounts

A court in the Eastern District of Texas recently held that two companies were “integrated employers” under the Family Medical Leave Act, in part, because the two companies shared a Facebook page. Dooling v. Bank of the West, No. 4:11-cv-00576 (E.D. Tex. July 17, 2013) (Bush, Mag. J.). This conclusion allowed the plaintiff to establish her … 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

NLRB Still Scrutinizing Social Media Policies

On November 15, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board again rejected an employer’s social media policy because it could be construed to chill employees’ rights to join together for mutual aid and protection. Dish Network’s employee handbook banned employees from making “disparaging or defamatory comments” about the company. Relying on the NLRB’s  recent decision invalidating … Continue reading
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