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A ‘sledgehammer’ to social media policies

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in Centerpiece,Employment Law,HR Management,Human Resources

social media websitesEven if you included a new social media (SM) policy in your employee handbook recently, it’s time to review it again. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a report May 30 that called into question the legality of some of the wording employers commonly use in their SM policies.

The NLRB has said in the past that putting limits on your employees’ discussions about pay, benefits and other working conditions—either in person or online—could violate the National Labor Relations Act rules against limiting workers “protected concerted activity.”

The NLRB report analyzed seven corporate social media policies, finding all seven to be overly broad.

For example, the NLRB said a policy prohibiting workers from releasing confidential company information on social media is too broad.

Likewise, the NLRB said a policy that said employees should “think carefully” before friending co-workers on social media sites could discourage discussions of work conditions. And the agency said a company policy discouraging online posting of photos or video of the workplace is also overly broad.

Such limitations, says the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), “take a sledgehammer to social media policies.”

Best bet: Read the new guidance, (see box below) and get your attorney’s sign-off on your social media policy.

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