Facebook Firings and Social Media Policies – Part 2


In the last post, we talked about whether you could fire someone for their Facebook posts. We used the NLRB’s recent social media memorandum discussing 14 cases as a guideline.

Today, we discuss social media policies. Why should I have one and what should I have so they don’t get me in more trouble?

Why Have One?

I previously wrote an entire post answering why you should have a social media policy.

In short, you can reduce your risk by showing that you are taking reasonable steps to prevent the mishaps that come along with employees engaging in social media. It’s better to go into court or respond to a governmental inquiry explaining that you had a policy that you shared with your employees to prevent the mishap, but this one employee simply violated it. In other words, “we tried” is better than we simply, “ummmm, I don’t know.”

It could help you in an employment law dispute as well. Better than that, however, it’s also good business to explain to your employees what you expect from them.

So, what should my social media policy say — or not say?

The legal risk is not so much what to include, but what NOT to include. The law prohibits employers from implementing rules that “would reasonably tend to chill employees in the exercise” of their rights to discuss their working conditions with their co-workers. Those rights are discussed in more detail in part one of this series. A discharge based on an overly broad rule is illegal if the employee engaged in the protected activity.

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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