The National Labor Relations Board continues to wreck havoc on companies’ social media policies. That latest to get steamrolled in Boch Honda.
I grew up with Ernie Boch’s commercial proclaiming that his costs are less so his prices are less, so “come on down“.
Employers cannot prevent employees from discussing their conditions of employment with their fellow employees, radio and television stations, newspapers or unions. The NLRB will strike down provisions in social media policies that employees could reasonably construe as an unlawful prohibition.
The NLRB dismissed the following provisions, warranting “little discussion” that they are clear violations.
1. The Company requires its employees to confine any and all social media commentaries to topics that do not disclose any personal or financial information of employees, customers or other persons, and do not disclose any confidential or proprietary information of the Company.
2. If an employee posts comments about the Company or related to the Company’s business or a policy issue, the employee must identify him/herself…
5. If an employee’s online blog, posting or other social media activities are inconsistent with, or would negatively impact the Company’s reputation or brand, the employee should not refer to the Company, or identify his/her connection to the Company…
7. While the Company respects employees’ privacy, conduct that has, or has the potential to have a negative effect on the Company might be subject to disciplinary action up to, and including, termination, even if the conduct occurs off the property or off the clock.
8. Employees may not post videos or photos which are recorded in the workplace, without the Company’s permission.
9. If an employee is ever asked to make a comment to the media, the employee should contact the Vice President of Operations before making a statement.
10. The Company may request that an employee temporarily confine its social media activities to topics unrelated to the Company or a particular issue if it believes this is necessary or advisable to ensure compliance with applicable laws or regulations or the policies in the Employee Handbook. The Company may also request that employees provide it access to any commentary they posted on social media sites.
11. Employees choosing to write or post should write and post respectfully regarding current, former or potential customers, business partners, employees, competitors, managers and the Company. Employees will be held responsible for and can be disciplined for what they post and write on any social media. However, nothing in this Policy is intended to interfere with employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
12. Managers and supervisors should think carefully before “friending,” “linking” or the like on any social media with any employees who report to them.
You can take a look at other social media policies in my social media policies database.
- Boch Imports Case at the NLRB (.pdf)
- Another Employer’s Social Media Policy Is Found Unlawful By An NLRB Administrative Law Judge by Joseph J. Lazzarotti in Littler’s Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report