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NLRB Acting General Counsel Issues a Third Report on Social Media Policies

- December 2012

The NLRB acting general counsel has issued three reports analyzing the Board’s recent enforcement actions involving employer implementation and enforcement of policies that regulate employee use of social media to discuss workplace issues. The reports set out various social media policy provisions and other work rules that the NLRB considers overly-broad and unlawful restraints on employee rights to engage in protected concerted activity on social media platforms. The first two reports may be viewed at:

http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/link/document.aspx/09031d458056e743 and
http://www.nlrb.gov/news/acting-general-counsel-issues-second-social-media-report

The third report contains the acting general counsel’s analysis of numerous actual employer policies and rules governing topics such as employee use of social media to discuss workplace issues, confidentiality, privacy, commenting on legal matters and contact with the media or government agencies. (Office of General Counsel, Division of Operations-Management, Memorandum OM (12-59)). The report then expresses counsel’s opinion whether the cited policies violate the Act. It also includes one company’s social media policy that counsel believes is, in its entirety, lawful under the Act (pp. 22-24). The report is at:
http://www.nlrb.gov/news/acting-general-counsel-releases-report-employer-social-media-policies

Although this report is intended to provide guidance, employers are well advised to consult with their own legal counsel for professional advice when adopting or revising employment policies and work rules.