Is your social media policy illegal?

A recent NLRB decision involving Costco keys on collective bargaining issues. Does your policy governing online networking go too far?

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In 1935, Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act to protect the rights of employees, encourage collective bargaining, and curtail dangerous workplace policies. Today, when an employee in the U.S. believes they have been wrongfully terminated they notify the National Labor Relations Board, which has local offices nationwide.

Over the past 18 months, the NLRB has released a series of memos on the lawfulness of corporate social media policies. The memos found most corporate social media policies to be overly broad and unlawful. One of the most common offenses was restricting employee’s from discussing “confidential information,” such as wages and working conditions, with co-workers on social media.

This month, the NLRB issued its first decision on social media policies, striking down Costco’s rules and regulations as unlawful.

It stated:

(c) “[s]ensitive information such as membership, payroll, confidential financial, credit card numbers, social security number or employee personal health information may not be shared, transmitted, or stored for personal or public use without prior management approval”; and

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