Practice Areas > Social Media At Work

Social Media In The Workplace

Should employees be allowed to use social media, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, at work?

A new area of employment law that employers are increasingly dealing with recently is social media. Social media include various online technology tools that enable people to communicate easily via the internet to share information and resources. These tools can encompass text, audio, video, images, podcasts and other multimedia communications. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have many pending cases with respect to social media and the law is ever changing and developing. It is important for employers to be guided by an experienced attorney to ensure that they are compliant with the most up-to-date rulings and cases.

Otherwise, employers could face unfair labor practice (ULP) charges for wrongfully terminating employees for messages they post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Several employers were found recently to be in violation of federal labor law when they terminated employees after they posted comments on Facebook. An employee's comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activity among employees.

Employers could also face ULP charges for implementing policies on social media that are too broad and therefore unlawful. Employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees.

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