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Business Law Blog

Archive of: Technology

In its First Ruling on a Social Media Policy, the NLRB Rules a Portion of Costco’s Policy Unlawful

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources, Technology / Comments

On September 7th the NLRB, in Costco Wholesale Corporation and United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 371, Case 34–CA–012421, upheld the administrative judge’s ruling that some of Costco’s employee handbook policies violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) but disagreed with the judge that Costco's social media policy was lawful.Among the rules the NLRB, in agreement with the judge, found unlawful were the following:(a) “unauthorized posting, ...

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Social Media Policies Part 2 - NLRB Issues Useful Example of Employer Policy

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Business Management, Technology / Comments

Expanding on last week’s post, the NLRB’s memo found the following social media policies to be lawful (in addition to rules prohibiting discrimination or retaliation on social media websites that would also not be permissible in the workplace even if the behavior occurs afterhours on personal computers): First, an employer’s social media policy can require that employees are “respectful” on such sites as long as the employer's rules provide examples ...

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Employers, Take a Good Look at your Social Media Policy

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Human Resources, Technology / Comments

As social media participation increases, particularly Facebook and Twitter, it’s becoming more important for employers to have a social media policy in place.  Equally important however, is ensuring that the policy isn’t overbroad and violates the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”).  Last month the NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued his third report  detailing seven cases of illegal or overbroad employer social media policies that violated the Act.The ...

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Now Employers Have to Worry About the Federal Trade Commission

Posted by Attorney Roger L. Pettit in Business Management, Technology, Labor Relations / Comments

A few years back I prepared a handout for a seminar on effective employment practices.  In the handout I listed what I hoped would be a complete litany of laws that affect employers and employees in the work place.  The list of at least 27 different laws is reproduced below.Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000(e), et. seq.;Civil Rights Act of 1991;AmericansWith Disabilities ...

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Facebook Posts Protected Under the NLRA;Employer Required To Reinstate Terminated Employees

Posted by Attorney David McClurg in Business Management, Technology, Labor Relations / Comments

As indicated in our earlier posts, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has been focusing significant attention on employees’ rights to communicate about workplace issues on social media sites. Most of the recent unfair labor practice charges the Board has filed against employers for disciplining employees based on such communications havebeen settled without a hearing or a decision on the merits of the charges.  That changed earlier this month when ...

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THE NLRB RELEASES A REPORT SEEKING TO PROVIDE GUIDANCE ON EMPLOYERS' SOCIAL MEDIA POLICIES

Posted by in Employer-Employee Relationship, Human Resources, Technology / Comments

In the past year the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made the headlines in popular media over terminating or disciplining employees over their Facebook content. As a previous blog post discussed, these cases made headlines as they represented a departure from the typical employer discretion for disciplining as they thought fit for unsavory social media postings by their employees.The problem with these NLRB cases was that rarely were ...

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The NLRB Continues to Take Issue with "Facebook Firings"

Posted by in Employer-Employee Relationship, Human Resources, Technology / Comments

Has your company ever “dooced” anyone? “Dooce” is the term used among the internet and social media savvy to describe someone who has been fired for their website or online content.  The stories of employees being dooced have made their way both through pop culture and across the desks of business owners and advisers everywhere. Business owners who come to learn of an employee’s public declaration of ...

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The Hourly Employee and the Company Issued Device: Tips to Avoid the "Continuous Work Day" under the NLRA

Posted by in Human Resources, Technology / Comments

Smart phones, laptops, PDAs and cell phones. In today’s business world almost everyone has one or more of these devices.  More and more employers issue these devices to their employees to assist in productivity, allow more flex-time or alternative work arrangements and find they are a necessary component of doing business.  But aside from the obvious abusive employee usage, did you ever think they could end up costing the company ...

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Early Case Assessment Minimizes Litigation Costs

Posted by Attorney David McClurg in Business Management, Technology / Comments

By: David A. McClurgEarly Case Assessment (“ECA”) is becoming increasingly important in evaluating the costs and risks of employment related litigation – particularly where discovery is expected to involve requests for production of a large number of documents that must be reviewed for relevance and the existence of privileged communications. The widespread use of electronic document storage and mind boggling advances in the technology available to search and screen ...

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