Law.com (06/01/12) Jenna Greene
A May 30 report from the U.S. National Labor Relations Board provides examples of employer social media policies that overstep federal rules. One policy that prevents workers from disclosing confidential guest, team member, or company information on social networking sites could violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act because it could be interpreted as barring workers from discussing or disclosing their own and other employees’ conditions of employment. It also could be unlawful for companies to require employee social media posts to be “completely accurate and not misleading . . . and not reveal non-public information on any public site” because the language is “overbroad [and could] reasonably be interpreted to apply to discussions about, or criticism of, the Employer’s labor policies and its treatment of employees.”
Other overbroad policies are those that bar employees from posting “offensive, demeaning, abusive, or inappropriate remarks” or order them to “think carefully” about friending colleagues, and it even could be unlawful for employers to prevent employees from commenting on legal matters. However, social media policies stating that employees are responsible for what they post online and that conduct impacting job performance could lead to disciplinary action or termination are allowed.