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June 2012 | See all news in this issue

Facebook and the workplace…

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) says employers should reconsider policies that limit or restrict what their employees can say on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites. In fact, the NLRB said in a decision, such policies can violate the National Labor Relations Act.

Ruling on a case involving General Motors, the NLRB called GM’s employee policies “overbroad” and potentially interfering with employee rights to organize and conduct other legal activities. Specifically, the NLRB said rules prohibiting employees from publishing non-public company information on social sites unfairly limits their ability to openly discuss wages and working conditions.

The GM decision was just one of several recent NLRB rulings on employer social media policies. In a report on the issue, the NLRB suggested that rules which discourage “friending” co-workers or disparaging the company amounted to limitations on employee rights to communicate with each other. A summary of the NLRB report can be found at Courthouse News Service.

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