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Showing 12 posts in Social Media.

Political and Social Activism Surges in the Workplace: Five Issues for Employers to Consider

Six months into a global pandemic, employers across the United States continue to confront a series of new economic realities. One particular phenomenon employers are having to deal with is a surge of political and social activism in the workplace. Individuals across the country are voicing opinions in what can only be described as a highly polarized political environment. Many employees are expressing their viewpoints both on social media and in the workplace, and it is unreasonable to expect these conversations will not happen during working hours. More ›

NLRB Restricts Employee Use of Employer-Provided Email for Section 7 Purposes

Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board ("Board") issued an important decision, returning to its prior precedent with respect to employee use of employer-provided email for Section 7 purposes. In Caesars Entertainment and International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council, the Board overruled the Obama-era decision of Purple Communications, Inc. and returned to the rationale the Board had adopted during the George W. Bush era in Register Guard.

The Board held that the Purple Communications decision was out of line with its prior precedent and impermissibly discounted employers' property rights with respect to their IT resources while overstating the importance of those resources to Section 7 activity. In returning to the Register Guard holding, the Board recognized and created an exception to the Register Guard rule in cases where an employer's email system is the only reasonable means for employees to communicate with one another. More ›

Being Called a Racist Is Not Unlawful Harassment If Comments Are Not Racially Motivated

Employers are equipped and know how to handle complaints of racial discrimination and harassment—or at least should be so prepared. However, facts have a funny way of developing into novel situations. What happens, for instance, if an employee is being called a racist by other employees? More ›

Lessons for Employers in the Case of a Former Google Software Engineer Fired for Violating Company Anti-Discrimination Policies

Earlier this week, an NLRB attorney issued an advice memo concluding that software giant Google did not violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), when the company terminated software engineer James Damore, who penned a controversial memo criticizing Google’s diversity initiatives. The memo, and Google's swift reaction, were widely covered in the press and speculation followed questioning whether Google's response was appropriate or whether it would face a challenge.   More ›

Connecticut Restricts Employer Access to Employees' and Applicants' Social Media

Connecticut has joined a growing number of other states in seeking to protect personal social media accounts of employees and potential hires. In early May, the state's General Assembly passed Senate Bill No. 426 (2015) titled "An Act Concerning Employee Online Privacy." More ›

NLRB Finds that Employer Could Rescind Offers After Workers Discussed Detailed Insubordination Plans on Facebook

In a (rare) positive social media decision for employers, the NLRB ruled on October 28th in Richmond District Neighborhood Center, Case 20–CA–091748 (Oct. 28, 2014), that two employees who discussed their insubordination plans in great detail in a Facebook “comment thread” lost the National Labor Relations Act’s protections. The discussion, the Board held, was not "protected, concerted activity," and the employees, therefore, could not file an unfair labor practice charge after they were not rehired as a result of their comments.  More ›

NLRB: Employer’s Overbroad Social Media Policy Violates Employees’ Rights

In its first decision involving an employer’s social media policy, the National Labor Relations Board (Board) found that an employer's policy violated employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The Board reasoned that the policy was written in overly general terms and therefore had “a reasonable tendency to inhibit employees’ protected activity.” This decision follows a series of social media reports issued by the Board over the past year, and appears to confirm what many employers had feared based upon those reports: the Board appears ready to reject all broad prohibitions on what employees may say online. More ›

Illinois Prohibits Employers from Seeking Facebook Passwords

On August 1, 2012, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law a provision that amends the Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to make it illegal for employers to ask employees or applicants for passwords or other account information related to their social networking accounts. The law also prohibits employers from demanding access to such accounts in any other manner. More ›

New Report Issued on Employee use of Social Media and the National Labor Relations Act

On May 30, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board’s General Counsel issued a Report Concerning Social Media Cases. In it, the General Counsel’s Office reviewed seven cases concerning employers’ social media policies regarding. In its review, the General Counsel found several aspects of these policies to be overbroad while affirming others. More ›

Massachusetts Court: Employee had no Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in Employer-Provided Gmail Account

At the developing intersection of employment law and the internet, every decision is important. It is, therefore, worth taking note of a recent decision out of Massachusetts state court, wherein the court found that an employee had no reasonable expectation of privacy in e-mails sent and received using a Gmail account provided and administered by his employer.  More ›

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