Social Media Policies: Are They Legal?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By melindakb
Words 564
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Article
On May 19, 2011, the NLRB had filed a complaint against Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc. The NLRB ruled that the agency violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it terminated five employees for “venting” after hours on Facebook about their jobs. The post included one employee’s complaint that a coworker didn’t feel she was working hard enough and another employee’s commiseration that she didn’t “have a life”.
The NLRB stated that ““Employees have a protected right to discuss matters affecting their employment amongst themselves,” and it was “irrelevant … that the [employees] were not trying to change their working conditions and that they did not communicate their concerns to Hispanics United.”
The agency was ordered to reinstate the fired employees with full back pay. Employers should ensure that their social media and internet policies do not facially violate the NLRA by prohibiting employee discussions of working conditions. And, while employers can still prohibit misuse of social media - including for the dissemination of trade secrets or confidential and proprietary information, trade libel, defamation, or harassment - employers must scrupulously avoid violating the NLRA by disciplining employees for legitimate, online discussions of working conditions.
Agreeing with the NLRB’s decision
I agree with NLRB’s decision. The agency – Hispanics United of Buffalo should have taken other measures in consideration, opposed to terminating the employees, I think that action was too extreme for the situation.
After all, the employees only posted about their concerns, which should not be considered a violation of the agency, since no posts were directed to the agency or in this case, deemed harmful to the business.
Personal opinion
Assuming that this case happened in my current workplace, this case would have a negative impact on the…...

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