The use of social media by employees is as fraught as it is widespread, and creates tremendous legal risk for the employer. Indeed, employers are wise to require adherence to a thorough policy regarding employee use of social media both inside and outside of work. The best policies will aim to sidestep potential legal landmines by preventing unauthorized disclosure of the company’s trade secrets and other confidential information, violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act arising from an employee’s promotion of company products, infringement of third party intellectual property rights, employee harassment, and privacy violations.… Continue Reading
In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017), the NLRB has recently issued new guidance regarding employee handbook rules. The NLRB’s guidance can be found here.
In Boeing, the Board overturned its old standard, under which an employer rule violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if a worker could “reasonably construe” it to interfere with the right to engage in protected concerted activity. Under the new standard adopted by the Board, an employer rule will only violate the NLRA if it would … Continue Reading
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 media policy, were lawful.… Continue Reading
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 As a reminder, the administrative law judge determined that portions of Chipotle’s outdated Social Media Code of Conduct policy violated the U.S. National Labor Relations Act (NRLA). The judge also found that Chipotle’s request that the employee remove his Twitter posts (i.e. “tweets”) also violated the NLRA. On August 18, 2016, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) affirmed that Chipotle’s … Continue Reading
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 memorandum that certain cases and issues are of particular interest to the Board and therefore require consideration by the head office in Washington, DC. This memorandum makes clear that the NLRB continues to take a keen interest in extending the reach of the National Labor … Continue Reading
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 (NLRB) administrative law judge determined that that the employee’s “tweets” constituted protected activity.… Continue Reading