Category Archives: Social Media

Quirky Question #279: Concerted Activity in 140 Characters or Less

Question: I am a manager in a medium-sized retailer that has locations and employees in 16 states.  The company maintains a social media policy, which was recently updated.  Last week, I noticed that one of our employees posted some pretty nasty things about the company on Twitter.  She accused the company of not treating employees fairly because some had to work on days when others did not.  Perhaps worse, in response to customers who were praising the company’s products and services, she basically called the company cheap by saying it did not provide good pay or benefits.  I have not noticed any reaction from other employees to the tweets, but I am worried they will hurt employee morale and possibly drive away customers.  Is there anything I should consider before disciplining the employee who tweeted these things?

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Quirky Question #269: Like it or Not – Facebook Post Protected Under the NLRA

Question: I own a small manufacturing company that employs 25-35 employees, depending on our workload.  Over the years, a number of my customers and my employees have “friended” me on Facebook.  Last week, I saw that one of our employees had posted a comment that I don’t pay enough overtime and that I’m, “f—ing cheap,” because I don’t give enough paid vacation.  Almost worse, I saw that three other employees “liked” the post.  I work hard to treat my employees fairly, and to ensure that I staff adequately so that employees do not need to work overtime.  I’m afraid this post is going to hurt employee morale, and I’d like to fire the employee who posted and the ones who liked the post.  Is there anything I should consider?

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Quirky Question #206, NLRB

 Question:

I discovered one of my employees announced on Facebook that our company is a horrible place to work and she is just “coasting” and waiting to be fired.  Normally, I would just fire her, but our CFO is worried that internet communications between employees in social media can be “protected.”    What is the recent law? Answer→

Another Social Media Report by the NLRB Offers Needed Guidance for Employer Policies

Another Social Media Report by the NLRB

The National Labor Relations Board released its second Social Media Report in January of this year providing the General Counsel’s analysis of 14 challenged employer social media policies.  The Board last week released another Report reviewing seven additional employer policies. The Board alleged that six of these policies interfered with employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and found one policy to be lawful. While much of the new Report reiterates prior analysis, the Board significantly expands upon its views of employees’ rights to discuss confidential company and coworker information online. Most importantly, the Board expressly approves and fully quotes one particular social media policy, which may serve as a useful guide for employers to review or create their own policies. Answer→

Think You Own Your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook Account? Think Again!

You may not, as reflected in the recently reported decision of Eagle v. Morgan, 2011 WL 6739448 (E.D. Pa. December 22, 2011) where both the employee and her former employer claim ownership in the employee’s LinkedIn account, the popular social networking site for business professionals.  The dispute is starkly drawn in the litigation’s opposing pleadings and provides a strong warning to the hundred million plus LinkedIn users and other users of social media who operate under the assumption that their social media accounts belong solely to them to transfer as they please when they change jobs. Answer→

Happy Holidays From The NLRB: Your Carefully Crafted Social Media Policy May Amount To A Per Se Violation Of The National Labor Relations Act

Set forth below is the article from one of our partners regarding the recent NLRB Complaint, stemming from a posting on Facebook.

Happy Holidays from the NLRB

Depending on the study cited, as many as:

• 79% of people in the U.S. age 18 and older were on-line in some fashion as of May 2010
• Of those on-line adults, 61% used social networking sites (up from 46% of on-line adults just last year)

Source: PEW Internet and American Life Project

• Approximately one-third of U.S. companies have a social media policy (other surveys report more than one-half their respondents have such policies)

Source: Manpower Social Media Survey, January 2010

• More than one-half of U.S. companies block access to social media sites from work

Source: Robert Half Social Media Monitoring Tools Survey, October 2009

• As many as 15% of U.S. companies have disciplined employees over social media issues
• 8% of U.S. companies have reported discharging someone over social media issues (up from 4% in the same survey in 2009)

Source: Proofpoint Outbound E-mail and Data Loss Prevention, 2010

The ease of use and dissemination, the spontaneity of communications, the perceived anonymity of on-line personas – in other words, all the things that likely attract people to social media – also present real challenges for employers. Whereas before, employers had to concern themselves only with the occasional improper e-mail that might be seen by a handful of individuals, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds, and other on-line content can quickly “go viral” and be seen by tens or hundreds or thousands of people. With the stakes raised, employers are growing increasingly vigilant and decreasingly tolerant of careless social media behavior. As a result, both corporate policies and the law are struggling to keep pace with the social media age. Answer→

How Companies Are Addressing Social Media Risk

Social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc., is an evolving and growing means of communication. According to some reports, people have been spending more time using social media sites than e-mail since February 2009. See “A World of Connections,” The Economist, Jan. 28, 2010. For companies, social media presents both opportunities and risks. These risks include reputational, brand, legal, regulatory and security concerns. This article outlines some approaches that companies are taking to manage the risks, including: 1) reviewing existing company compliance policies and preparing social media policies as warranted; 2) restricting workplace access to social media; 3) utilizing social media monitoring tools; 4) taking into account actual social media business issues; and 5) reviewing insurance coverage.

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