Pozzuolo Rodden, PC, Philadelphia Business Law Attorneys, Release the Article: "Can An Employer Control What An Employee Says About The Employer In The Social Media?"

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This article discusses the importance of a social media policy in the workplace.

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Pozzuolo Rodden P.C., Philadelphia Business Law Lawyers, announces the release of "Can An Employer Control What An Employee Says About The Employer In The Social Media"? If you would like to read more, please read the full article and other business law, or estate planning topics at http://www.pozzuolo.com

Can An Employer Control What An Employee Says About The Employer In The Social Media?

There is a recent trend in employment law of employers drafting social media policies to place regulations on an employee’s use of social media as it relates to the employer. However, an employer should take care to ensure its social media policy does not violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), a law which was enacted to protect employee rights and regulate working conditions.

In May 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”), an independent federal agency that investigates unfair labor practices and enforces in the NLRA, issued a Report of the General Counsel (“Report”), which specifically addressed an employer’s regulation of employee’s social media usage. The General Report examined recent cases involving social media regulations and provided guidance for employers when drafting social media policies. The Report provided a model policy that the Board concluded effectively balances the interests of employers and employees’ use of social media.

In general, the NLRB’s Report found that employers had a tendency to draft over broad social media policies that were unlawful under the provisions of the NLRA. The NLRA protects employee’s rights, whether unionized or not, to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment, their employer’s labor policies and treatment of their employees among other protections. Accordingly, an employer cannot completely ban an employee’s use of social media to discuss their employment, because such a ban would be unlawful under the NLRA.

Mainly the NLRB Report cautioned employers against using overbroad and ambiguous language in their social media policies. For example, the NLRB found portions of an employer’s social medial policy which instructed employee’s not to reveal “non-public company information” to be overbroad and to unlawfully prohibit employees from discussing the terms and conditions of their employment. The NLRB Report also found that if an employer’s policy was ambiguous the employer should include examples of how that policy applies in different contexts to help clarify the rule and ensure that it could not be interpreted by employees to prohibit them from discussing the terms and conditions of their employment.

Employers must always be cautious in drafting their social media policies and should seek legal counsel to ensure they are adequately protecting their needs and reputation, as well as, drafting a legal policy which does not illegally limit an employee’s rights. If you would like further guidance on drafting such a social media policy please contact this office. A copy of the Report is available upon a request to our firm at joe(at)pozzuolo(dot)com.

Pozzuolo Rodden, P.C. Counselors at Law, Philadelphia Business Planning Attorneys, is located in Philadelphia, PA & Cherry Hill, NJ and serves clients throughout Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania and Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester counties in Southern New Jersey.

Contact our Philadelphia Business Law & Estate Planning Law Firm with your questions, comments or concerns.

Please visit our web site dedicated to Business Law and Estate Planning: http://www.pozzuolo.com

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Joseph R. Pozzuolo, J.D., B.B.A.
Pozzulo Rodden, PC
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