With the advent of social networking websites, employers have responded by placing a variety of social media restrictions on employees, including restrictions or prohibitions on employees’ ability to post content online. However, employers need to be careful with these social media restrictions because certain employee communications are protected under the National Labor Relations Act. Under §7 of the NLRA, employers are prohibited from preventing workers — both union and nonunion — from organizing and discussing working conditions. Protected speech under the NLRA may include conversations with other co-workers regarding work conditions, schedules and wages, and Facebook postings on these topics may be protected speech as well. The NLRA gives employees a general right to engage in concerted activity with other employees with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment. It is unlawful for employers to take adverse action against employees on the basis of their involvement in such protected concerted activities.
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