Social Media in the Workplace
Posted on Oct. 29, 2012

The National Labor Relations Board and now an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) have recently made statements and offered rulings that prohibit companies from restricting certain social media activities of their employees.

In September 2012, the ALJ in EchoStar Technologies, 27-CA-066726, found that six pieces of EchoStar’s social media policy could too easily be interpreted as interfering with employees’ protected activity and was therefore unlawful under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, including:

  • Restrictions on negative comments about EchoStar
  • Not allowing employees to engage in personal social media activities “with EchoStar resources and/or Company time”
  • Prohibiting employees from talking to the media about EchoStar prior to getting EchoStar’s approval
  • Not allowing employees to speak with government agencies and mandating they disclose if a government agency contacts them regarding EchoStar
  • A provision "prohibiting employee disclosure of Company investigations involving EchoStar policies, practices, expectations and any applicable law or any other behavior deemed relevant to employment with EchoStar"
  • EchoStar’s definition of insubordination as undermining EchoStar or any of its employees

For more details and for additional resources, visit JDSupra’s piece written by Beth P. Zoller, XpertHR Legal Editor, called Administrative Law Judge “Echos” NLRB’s Most Recent Decision on Social Media and Workplace Policies.

For a listing of Jones Waldo attorneys who can help your company craft lawful social media policies, please click here.

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