Category Archives: Social Media

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NLRB Continues to Click “Dislike” on Social Media Policies

As the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues its assault on employer personnel policies, certain policies seem to be getting particular attention. Various recent NLRB opinions have imposed a number of limitations on employee social media policies. Even those employers without unions need to pay close attention to these opinions and think very carefully when … Continue reading this entry

Worker Privacy and Security in an Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the phenomenon of everyday objects like phones, refrigerators, and cars connecting to the internet in order to send and receive data. While the IoT promises a future of convenience and control over our daily lives, it also presents challenges outpacing the current body of employment law. For example, … Continue reading this entry

Telecommuting — Employees Enter the Sharing Economy? (Part 2)

Last week we began delving into some of the many issues that the rise of telecommuting has caused employers to confront, ranging from jurisdictional questions to how to determine when remote employees are actually working and how to compensate them appropriately. With telecommuting employees, questions arise not only with how to track their normal working activities, … Continue reading this entry

Telecommuting - Employees Enter the Sharing Economy? (Part 1)

As onrushing technological changes continue to disrupt our society, the concepts of how we work and, more particularly, where we work, are not immune from that disruption. Forbes Magazine reports that 11 percent (8,000 employees) of Xerox’s employees now work remotely 100 percent of the time. At Aetna, as many as 43 percent of its employees … Continue reading this entry

Accessing an Employee’s Social Media Account? A Patchwork of State Laws

The water cooler, it seems, is a thing of the past. Or at least the actual physical water cooler is. These days, many of the office conversations take place online. Employees air their grievances, connect with each other, and catch up on each other’s lives through social media. As technology plays a bigger role in … Continue reading this entry

Employers Are Not Going to "Like" This NLRB Decision on Social Media

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has issued yet another decision which should cause all employers, even those without unions, to think very carefully before disciplining any employee for their actions on social media. In its recent Triple Play Sports Bar ruling, the Board found that clicking the “Like” button on Facebook was protected concerted … Continue reading this entry

You Posted My Medical Information on Facebook?!?!?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment. An employer is required to make a reasonable accommodation to an employee’s known disability if it would not impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. In the course of exploring an employee’s limitations … Continue reading this entry

Daughter Posts Settlement on Facebook – Employer Dislikes – Dad in Hot Water

Social media in general, and Facebook in particular, seems to have become so ingrained in modern existence that while it is potentially laughable, it is nonetheless true that we can seriously live by the tenet “If it’s not on Facebook, it did not happen.” But when it comes to confidential settlement agreements, there is no … Continue reading this entry

When Federal Law Treats You as a Hacker

Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have become recent public faces of hacking. But hacking is not always sensationalized by stolen state secrets, diplomatic crises, and asylum applications. As we previously reported, laws intended to address hacking are increasingly being brought to bear on more mundane workplace settings. Though these settings are much less controversial than … Continue reading this entry

Your Website is Hostage…Now What?

Company websites are no longer novel. They are every bit as required for business operation as a telephone, computer or copier. Employers would be appalled at any employee who walked out after leaving employment with the telephone handset under arm or copier in tow. But, employers sometimes fail to provide the same level of thought … Continue reading this entry

More Facebook Issues: This Time, It’s the Stored Communications Act

Employer use of social media information in employment decisions has received much attention in the past couple of years. As we have previously reported, several states have passed laws precluding employers from asking for employee or applicant Facebook passwords, and the National Labor Relations Board  has on several occasions considered Facebook material as a potential … Continue reading this entry

NLRB Continues to Get in Your Face-book

As employers increasingly utilize electronic technologies such as email, messaging, and social media in all aspects of their business, they have had to develop policies governing the use of these technologies. These policies have come under increasing scrutiny by the NLRB when they either prohibit protected union activity or are ambiguous enough to chill employees’ … Continue reading this entry

Car in the Pond Sinks Sales Rep

A recent decision by the NLRB provides insight and guidance to employers who are struggling to deal with the ever-expanding issues arising from employees’ use of social media. The Karl Knauz Motors case involved a BMW dealer that held an event called the BMW Ultimate Driving Experience, in an attempt to stimulate car sales. One … Continue reading this entry

Employers Should Avoid Requesting Facebook Passwords

In the information age, it may be tempting for employers to seek out personal information about prospective employees before making a hiring decision and, given the number of social media outlets, including Facebook, it is certainly easy for employers to do so. Indeed, Facebook is a potential wealth of information that otherwise might not be … Continue reading this entry

Is Your Company’s Social Media Policy NLRA-Compliant?

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has renewed its scrutiny of retaliatory activity by employers based upon employees’ usage of social media. On January 24, 2012, the Associate General Counsel of the NLRB issued a second report on social media cases, which discusses common features of companies’ social media policies that, in the NLRB’s view, … Continue reading this entry

States and Feds Moving to Block Employer Access to Social Media

Employers are increasing the review of applicants’ social media sites as part of their standard hiring processes. A 2009 poll revealed that as many as 45 percent of employers regularly screen applicants through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and many of these employers have declined to hire candidates because the sites contained … Continue reading this entry

Social Media: Employers' "Friend" or "Foe?" - Web Conference

The use of social media in the workplace as both a business tool and social outlet for employees is creating a host of new legal challenges. Unfortunately, the law lags behind the use of the technology and, increasingly, employers are faced with new and novel “What do I do now?” situations. Join Foley Partners Mark … Continue reading this entry

First Facebook and Now Twitter ... Social Media Legal Compliance Challenges Are No "LOL" Matter!

Employees continue to file suits challenging company social media handbook policies and companies who discipline employee use of online tools like LinkedIn and Facebook. The New York Times recently reported, and various other media reports indicate, that absent a settlement, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) plans to commence a legal proceeding challenging a company’s … Continue reading this entry

Can Employers in an FLSA Overtime Case Issue Subpoenas Concerning an Employee's Social Media, Banking, and Texting Activities?

Increasingly, employers are wrestling with how best to monitor and limit employees’ use of the Internet to conduct non-work-related activities. The issue may become more pressing in an FLSA overtime case, when an employer suspects (or an employee admits) that he or she spent a considerable amount of time during the work day using the … Continue reading this entry

Developing a Social Media Policy -- Dos and Don'ts

Social media (or social networking or Web 2.0) is not a fad. Your employees are using it, and you need to develop a social media policy so employees and management understand the proper use of various social media tools. The goal should not be to stifle use of social media, but to protect the company’s … Continue reading this entry

Potential Loss of Attorney-Client Privilege Yet Another Social Media / Blogging Concern for Employers

Social media and blogging are quickly becoming areas of focus and concern for employers. In the past, we have encouraged employers to create social media and blogging policies and to be watchful of the content employees are submitting through these avenues, given concerns, among others, about protecting the status of confidential and trade secret information. … Continue reading this entry