Facebook, YouTube and other social networking sites provide people ample opportunity to vent publicly about a boss, coworker, pay or other sources of workplace dissatisfaction.
Many people use good judgment when posting on the Web. However, some employees cross the line by posting something their employer considers an internal matter or inappropriate.
Therefore, employers are adopting social networking policies to provide guidance to employees as to what is appropriate to post and what isn’t. Policies include how to use social networking sites responsibly, safeguarding intellectual property, and rules for keeping confidential and sensitive information private. Drafting a social networking policy doesn’t appear to be overly difficult.
As recently discussed in this column, the National Labor Relations Board thinks many provisions of social media policies are illegal on the premise they could be construed as infringement on employee rights to concerted activity guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act.
This includes the right for employees to discuss among themselves or with a representative their work problems, compensation, terms and conditions of employment. The NLRB asserts these rights extend to discussions and posting of work issues on the Internet.