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19 Oct


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New NLRB Guidelines Give Reason to Review Social Media Policies

October 19, 2011 | By | No Comments

Late this summer, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an independent group working with the U.S. government to protect employees’ rights, published a report on the outcomes of 14 social media policy cases, reports Sharlyn Lauby in an American Express OPEN Forum post featured on Mashable. The report also provides guidelines for workplace social media policies as well as examples of appropriate and inappropriate policies and conduct.

At the heart of the report is the NLRB’s desire to protect workers’ rights to engage in protected activity, regardless of where it’s expressed. Here are a few tips from the employment experts interviewed for the AMEX OPEN Forum piece:

  • Don’t make the policy too broad. For example, a social media policy that completely bans workers from discussing the company in any media format and without permission would be potentially deemed invalid.
  • Avoid monitoring employees’ social media use in regards to union-related activity. Any surveillance of employees exercising their right to join or form a union is considered an unfair labor practice.
  • Review and understand the NLRB guidelines even if you don’t currently have a social media policy in place. Knowing the guidelines will help you better protect the company when it comes to disciplining workers for social media misuse.

Does your business or brand have a social media policy? Have you started constructing guidelines for your employees to follow when using social networks? At Social Strategy1 we can help your brand construct a great social media policy and guidelines that will allow your employees to become online brand advocates. Contact us today to see how we can get your staff engaged without being afraid of their employer.

Michael F. Lewis II is a Social Media Consultant and Marketing Analyst for Social Strategy1.  He contributes several blogs weekly to the SS1 site.  Connect with Michael on Twitter via @mlewii.

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