The National Labor Relations Board is increasing employee rights to discuss their employers online….and making some companies rehire employees dismissed for their Facebook and other Internet commentary.
Steven Greenhouse reports that the Board is requiring many companies to revise their social media rules to protect employee rights when it comes to discussing work-related matters on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.
Three notable points:
“The general counsel’s office gave high marks to Wal-Mart’s social policy, which had been revised after consultations with the agency. It approved Wal-Mart’s prohibition of “inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct.’ ”
“…in assessing General Motors’s policy, the office wrote, “We found unlawful the instruction that ‘offensive, demeaning, abusive or inappropriate remarks are as out of place online as they are offline.’ ”
In a ruling last September, the board also rejected as overly broad Costco’s blanket prohibition against employees’ posting things that “damage the company” or “any person’s reputation.”
Companies can apparently benefit by collaborating with the National Labor Relations Board on their social media policies to ensure both their and employees’ rights are protected. At the least, reading the case studies in full should help.