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Clean Up on Aisle 7: Costco?ÇÖs Electronic Posting Policy Chills Protected Activity

As we have explored through previous posts, the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Lafe Solomon, has issued previous reports with guidance on what employers should not include in social media policies.?á Consistent with this guidance, on September 7, 2012, the NLRB issued its first opinion regarding whether a policy that prohibits employees from making ?Ç£damaging?Ç¥ statements about their employer via social media could chill Section 7 rights under the NLRA. In Costco Wholesale Club, 358 NLRB 106 (2012), a three member panel of the NLRB reviewed the following policy: Any communication transmitted, stored or displayed electronically must comply with the policies outlined in the Costco Employee Agreement. Employees should be aware that statements posted electronically (such as [to]online message boards or discussion groups) that damage the Company, defame any individual or damage any person?ÇÖs reputation, or violate the policies outlined in the Costco Employee Agreement, may be… Continue Reading

Unfashionable Firings: Judge Orders Clothing Store to Rehire Employees Who Lost Their Jobs Based on Facebook Posts.

Can you fire an employee who post on Facebook:?á ?Ç£Hey dudes, it?ÇÖs totally cool, tomorrow, I?ÇÖm bringing aCaliforniaworkers rights book to work.?á My mom works for a law firm that specializes in labor law and BOY will you be surprised by all the crap that?ÇÖs going on that?ÇÖs in violation??Ç¥?á The employee was one of three workers who had been complaining to store management that the store should shut down an hour early so employees could avoid unsavory street people when exiting the store late at night.?á After a heated exchange with store management over the subject, three employees complained about the manager on Facebook and posted about brining the ?Ç£Californiaworkers rights book,?Ç¥ which the employee did the next day.?á According to Administrative Law Judge William G. Kocol of the National Labor Relations Board, clothing retailer Bettie Page Clothing committed an unfair labor practice when it fired these three employees… Continue Reading

Recent NLRB Social Media Report Raises New Questions

As we have detailed in this blog and elsewhere, the National Labor Relations Board (?Ç£NLRB?Ç¥ or the ?Ç£Board?Ç¥) made social media cases a priority in 2011.?á As demonstrated in a recent memorandum released by the Board?ÇÖs Acting General Counsel, this trend is set to continue in 2012.?á Memorandum OM 12-31 summarizes 14 recent social media complaints received by the Board, and details the General Counsel?ÇÖs conclusions on each case.?á While the report reiterates many of the Board?ÇÖs previous pronouncements regarding social media, it also raises new questions about employer regulation of employee social media use, as well as permissible social media policy language.   A New Standard to Evaluate Employee Social Media Comments? Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (?Ç£NLRA?Ç¥) gives employees the right, among other things, ?Ç£to engage in . . . concerted activities for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection?Ç¥ (emphasis… Continue Reading

NLRB Clarifies Stance on Social Media, Applies Existing Labor Law

When confronted with the uncertainty surrounding employee use of social media, employers may wonder if the best move is to prohibit employees from discussing their jobs on social media sites altogether. Unfortunately, this seemingly simple solution is likely to create more problems than it solves.

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