Is your employee “tweeting” at his or her desk right now? If so, are they posting an opinion about your company or you? Impulsive Facebook posts and Tweets can obviously share an opinion or insight about your company that you would rather not be shared with your community, much less the world! Many companies are trying to figure out how they can limit what their employees say about work online without running violating the employees’ rights or the law.
So how far can a company’s Social Media Policy go? More than 100 complaints at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) within the last year have created a lot of uncertainty for businesses about what they can prohibit.
In one case, a Wal-Mart employee posted on Facebook a complaint about management “tyranny.” As a result, the employee was suspended for a day and disqualified from seeking any promotion for a full year. In this case, the NLRB determined that the Facebook post was “an individual gripe” and not an effort to discuss Wal-Mart work conditions with co-workers and declined to take action against the retailer.
The NLRB says federal law permits employees to talk with co-workers about jobs and working conditions without reprisal, whether it occurs in the company lunchroom or on Facebook. However, workers should be warned that not everything they post on Facebook or Twitter about their workplace or employer will be considered permissible under the law. A good idea is to stand-up, take a deep breath, count to ten and think about whether or not hitting send or post is the best idea.
If you have questions about how your company should address your Social Media Policy contact a HR Consultant or reach out to the LL Roberts Group to determine how a PEO and its HR Department can assist you by calling (toll free) 877.878.6463.