With the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace at an all-time high with regards to usage at home and in the workplace, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is cracking down on companies’ social media usage in the workplace.
The problem? Companies are creating social media policies that they expect employees to adhere to; however these policies may violate the National Labor Relations Act. Such violations can lead to legal and monetary risks if not corrected. In many cases, both unionized and nonunionized employees have been terminated for posting unfavorable material to do with their jobs on social networking sites.
One of the main determinants for whether or not a company follows the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when letting an employee go based on social network posts is if the social media post by the employee was a concerted complaint or just a personal gripe. Read about what happened when Wal-Mart, JT’s Porch Saloon, and Martin House fired employees who posted “negative” comments via their social media pages.
Another violation of the NLRB is conducting an internet or social media search on an applicant without potential new hire’s consent. Companies that take matters into their own hands by conducting such searches must have signed written consent to do so. What’s more is some companies will simple “Google” the applicant or search through the individual’s social media profiles. This practice can lead to an applicant who is unfairly judged based on information such as religion or sexual orientation.
To learn more about internet searches, read our past blog post “Internet Background Searches – Should YOU Use Them?”