Despite Labor Board ruling, a fight looms over social media policies at companies

A 24-page memo from the National Labor Relations Board suggests companies are violating employee rights, but the tome leaves many questions unanswered.

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On May 30, the NLRB released a 24-page memo listing several provisions from social media policies at General Motors, Target, and Dish Network, finding many to be in violation of sections 7 and 8 of the National Labor Relations Act, the ones that guarantee rights to organize and “engage in other protected concerted activities.”

For example, a provision in one policy limiting the release of “confidential guest, team member, or company information” is problematic, the memo states, in that it could “reasonably be interpreted as prohibiting employees from discussing and disclosing information regarding their own conditions of employment, as well as the conditions of employment of employees other than themselves.”

It isn’t clear whether those findings mean companies ought to start taking big red pens to their social media policies just yet, though. The NLRB’s memo isn’t legally binding, and as GM’s case proves, the board’s findings may not match up with a court’s.

GM’s case

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