As the dramatic growth of social media continues to transform the manner in which we all interact with each other, prudent employers must consider traditional labor law principles when implementing workplace social media policies. The new National Labor Relations Board is paying attention to new media in all its forms, featuring its own Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Twitter feed. It is only a matter of time before this board directly addresses labor disputes arising out of the use of these media in the workplace.
In December 2009, the board’s Division of Advice issued an advice memorandum addressing whether an employer’s social media policy promulgated by Sears Holdings Corp. violated §8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act. Although advice memorandums do not constitute formal adjudication or binding precedent, they often provide important insight.
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