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What’s Your Social Media Policy at Work?


Robby

There’s plenty of Indianapolis companies using social media. In fact, there are dozens of marketing companies in Central Indiana that specialize in social media. And recently, a local Indianapolis law firm offered some details about social media policies and the law.

In particular, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has become very interested in tools like Twitter and Facebook. That’s because what you say online is like the speech you might use in other semi-public forums, such as at parties or restaurants. That free speech cannot be unreasonably stifled by your employer.

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Wendy Bryant Becker explains:

In particular, Section 7 of the [National Labor Relations Act] grants to all employees the right to engage in “concerted protected activity” for their mutual aid or protection. This means that employees may communicate with each other and with third parties about their compensation, working conditions and other aspects of their employment, even if the communications may be embarrassing or damaging to their employers’ reputations.

Set forth below are some do’s and don’ts that you may want to keep in mind as you consider the components of your own policy.

DON’T draft rules that are ambiguous as to their possible application to Section 7 activity or which contain no limiting language or context. The NLRB found the following language to be unlawful because it could be interpreted as prohibiting employees from disclosing or discussing information about their or other employees’ conditions of employment:

When using social media, do not communicate confidential customer, team member or company information.

DON’T include language instructing employees that they should seek permission before posting messages that may implicate Section
7. The NLRB holds that a rule like the following one, requiring employees to secure permission when in doubt about a posting, violates the NLRA:

When in doubt about whether information you are considering sharing falls into one of the [prohibited] categories, DO NOT POST. Check with [employer] to see if it’s a good idea.

There’s tons more fascinating stuff in that post.

So what is the social media policy at your work place?

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About the Blogger: Robby Slaughter is a productivity speaker and expert. He is a principal with a AccelaWork, an Indianapolis consulting firm.

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