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Is Your Employer's Social Media Policy too Broad?

Social media policies are constantly changing as the law regarding what constitutes protected speech and what is not protected becomes clear.

In the past few years, many employers have gone on the defensive against social media in their employee policies, imposing sweeping bans on what employees could post and discuss about work. However, the National Labor Relations Board has made several rulings that make clear that sweeping bans are a violation of workers' rights.

So how can you tell if your employer's social media policy is too broad?

  • It prohibits discussing working conditions.
  • It prohibits discussing wages, hours, or scheduling.
  • It prohibits discussing strikes or organization with other employees.
  • It requires authorization from your company before posting or commenting on any of the above topics.

Under Federal labor laws, employees have the right to discuss things like working conditions, wages, hours, strikes and other organization with other employees. This is called concerted activity. In the digital age, these conversations often happen not around the water cooler but on social media. The NLRB has made clear that just because these discussions are public doesn't make them fair game for firing or retaliation.

This doesn't mean you can't be fired or retaliated against, however. You may very well be fired, demoted, suspended for postings, comments and actions on social media. But you do have legal recourse.

If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination as a result of social media activity, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.

Our attorneys have more than 40 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

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