If you do not know whether your employer has a Social Media Policy, you should ask your HR representative. First of all, there is no expectation of privacy when using an employer’s computer system. If you, as an employee, are permitted use of blogs and social networks during working hours it must not interfere with work activity.
The National Labor Relations Board recently released a report detailing the outcome of investigations into 14 cases involving the use of social media and employers’ general and social media policies. The general substance of the investigation is summarized below:
- Except in very limited circumstances, employers can’t discipline employees who discuss workplace responsibilities and performance together online — even if the online conversation includes swearing, sarcasm or insults;
- Employers can’t discipline any employee who seeks input online from a co-worker about a dispute at work;
- Employers can’t discipline an employee for clicking the “Like” button on Facebook
- Employers can’t discipline an employee who continues the course of concerted activity that began in the workplace by vocalizing the sentiments of his co-workers online.
- An overly broad social media policy is also likely to draw NLRB scrutiny for violating Section 8(a)(1) of the Act.
- Employers can’t blanketly prohibit employees from using the Employer’s logos or photographs.
- Employers can’t generally prohibit employees from discussing the company, its employees or competitors (even if the comments are disparaging).