NLRB Guidance Highlights Prohibited Elements of Social Media Policies

June 29, 2012 | Physician Practice News

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Social media guidelines that seek to curtail or are ambiguous regarding employees’ protected activities are unlawful, according to new guidance issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Protected activities are those in which employees discuss the terms and conditions of their employment. The guidance uses six sample policies to demonstrate how policy language can be construed as unlawfully infringing on employees’ rights. For example, one policy states that employees should not “release confidential guest, team member or company information” via social media; NLRB found that this could be read as prohibiting employees from discussing and disclosing information regarding the terms and conditions of their employment. Similarly, a provision that instructs employees not to share confidential information with coworkers unless the information is needed to do their job was also interpreted by NLRB as being overly restrictive.

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