The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a decision with significant impact upon employer policies that apply to employee use of social media. [Costco Wholesale Corporation, 358 NLRB No. 106 (Sept. 7, 2012)]
It is not uncommon that employer social media policies include rules that prohibit employees from using social media in ways that might harm third parties, or potentially compromise company information. Corporate policies may seek to restrict the posting of negative or defamatory statements about other individuals or employees, or posting/sharing information the company prefers to keep confidential.
Unfortunately, such rules may violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which protects the right of employees to (a) form, join, or assist a union, (b) choose representatives to bargain with an employer on their behalf, (c) act together with other employees for their benefit and protection, or (d) choose not to engage in any such activities.
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