Why We Put Plaintiffs to Their Proof

Because of the relative newness of the issue, it always seems newsworthy when the NLRB issues a social-media decision. World Color (USA) Corp. (NLRB 2/12/14) [ an enhanced version of this decision is available to lexis.com subscribers ], however, is much ado about nothing, but nevertheless reminds us...

Read This Before You Access Your Employee’s Social Media Accounts

Susan Fredman Design Group employed Jill Maremont as its Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and E-Commerce. In that capacity, she used her own personal Twitter account and Facebook page to promote SFDG’s business. To keep track of the various social media campaigns she was conducting for...

The EEOC and Social Media: Late to the Party?

The EEOC held a public meeting yesterday that examined how social media is being used in the work place and how it may impact the enforcement of the laws by the EEOC. Public hearings are rare; in the last two years, the Commission has held hearings on pregnant workers and workers with care giving responsibilities;...

70% of Employers Think Your Social Media Posts Are Their Business

A well-respected management-side firm (and sometimes opposing counsel of mine, I should add), Proskauer, released a study they did on social media this week, and I found it quite disturbing from the employee-side point of view. Their key finding: While nearly 90 percent of companies use social media...

Employers, If You Fire for a Facebook Post, Please, Get a Copy of It First!

The plaintiff is a Michigan lawyer. She was placed on the assignment list of the County Probate Court and, as a result, received several case assignments. She made a comment on Facebook about what she believed to be inefficiency at the Clerk’s Office at the Court in a particular case she was handling...

Does the NLRB "Like" Your Social Media Policy?

A recent decision from the National Labor Relation Board's ("NLRB's") Division of Judges further exemplifies the NLRB's proactive approach in scrutinizing both union and non-union employers' social media policies. In Kroger Co. v. Granger , the judge found that several provisions...

Oops! My Bad! Facebook Firing Based on Mistake

Contrary to popular belief, employees may be lawfully terminated for comments or pictures that they post on social-networking sites. The law also permits employers to make honest mistakes. An employer who makes the decision to terminate an employee based on an honest, but mistaken belief that the employee...

Why Employee Use of Social Media "Off the Clock" May Still Impact Your Workplace

A few weeks, ago I was speaking about social media and the workplace to a fabulous audience at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo . ( Email me if you want a copy of my slidedeck). One of my session themes was that there is no such thing as employees using social media "off the clock."...

What Does the ADA Say About Employee Medical Information and Social Media?

The ADA protects, as confidential, employee medical information obtained by an employer. Last year, I asked the following questions about the impact of social media on this confidentiality obligation: What happens, however, when an employee suffers an on-the-job injury and a supervisor shares information...

Should You Block Social Media at Work?

One of my summer television addictions is NY Med , which follows surgeons around some of the New York metro area’s busiest hospitals. One this summer’s episodes focused on a man who had been hit by a subway train. An ER nurse Instagrammed a photo of the empty trauma room, along with the caption...

Court: No First Amendment Right For Teacher to Trash Students Online

Welcome to The Employer Handbook. Extending the fifteen minutes of fame of a trash-talking blogger/teacher by a 300 word blog post. Dudes, do you remember Natalie Munroe? She's the teacher who enjoyed a cup of coffee in the spotlight a few years ago after getting suspended for bashing her...

An Unconstitutional Workplace Social Media Policy?

Can an employer's social media policy be unconstitutional? Maybe - if it's a public employer. We may get some insight into the constitutional boundaries of public employer social media policies in a new lawsuit filed against a sheriff's office in Texas. The case is Pittman v. Garcia. You...

Facebook Firing Causes Unfair Labor Practice Double Play For NLRB

In Triple Play Sports Bar & Grille [pdf] , the NLRB unanimously concluded that an employer unlawfully fired two employees for their off-duty Facebooking, and less-than unanimously concluded that the same employer’s social media policy was unlawfully restrictive [an enhanced version of this...

Keeping Secrets on Social Media

The title of this post is a bit laughable, isn’t it? I mean, really, it’s almost an oxymoron. Keeping secrets on social media? What’s the point? The very existence of social media is dependent upon sharing—not secret-keeping. But the two are intersecting more and more. Which is...

Keeping Secrets on Social Media: Part II

Employees telling secrets online was the subject of yesterday's post, Keeping Secrets on Social Media . Today's post--a continuation of the theme from yesterday--is about "auto-expire" apps. An "auto-expire" app is an app that enables users to set an automatic expiration...

Social Media Blunders Cost a Chef and a Chief Their Jobs

More proof that both entry-level employees and C-Suite executives can do dumb stuff and receive the Vince McMahon treatment ... No shirt, no sense, no job. When I go out to eat, I'm not that picky. While I often have a taste of fine dining, I can do beer and wings with the best of 'em....

Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion: Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media

The PBA Ethics Committee issued a formal opinion on Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media (HT: Dan Siegel on Legal Intelligencer ). The opinion is jam-packed with 18 pages of social media goodness on 10 main issues. Spoiler Alert! The committee concludes that: 1. Attorneys may advise...

Facebook Posts Too Insubordinate, Lose NLRA Protection

Yesterday, I covered the NLRA and concerted protected activity in my employment law class at Penn State. Here's the text from one of my slides: Protected Concerted Activity • Concerted - acting in “concert” with other employees (not just for employee’s individual benefit...

Can You Fire an Employee Who Posts Nazi Propaganda on Facebook?

Maybe you've heard about it. I'm giving a little spiel today on social media in the workplace with a few friends at an event in Philadelphia. If I play my cards right, I'll do as little speaking as possible on the dais. Which means I'll get my two cents in and discuss on a hockey coach...

Teacher's Racist Twitter Rant and the Law

Have you heard the one about the teacher who got fired over a racist Twitter rant about Ferguson ? To recap, she posted some lovely gems, such as "Who the (expletive) made you dumb (expletive) crackers think I give a squat (expletive) about your opinions. #Ferguson Kill yourselves." The...

Issue of Threats via Facebook Heads to the Supreme Court

The intersection of Facebook use and Free Speech is complicated. Complicated enough, in fact, that the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on the subject when it decides a case it is scheduled to hear argument in today, Elonis v. United States [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs for this...

Facebook Threats Constitute Legitimate Grounds for Termination

Earlier this week, I wrote about the issue of threats made via Facebook constitute constitutionally protected speech. Today’s post also is about threats made via Facebook but in the context of the workplace. The case, decided by the Court of Appeals of Ohio, is timed perfectly for my road trip...

Lawsuits, Discovery, and the Right to Privacy In the Context of Social Media

A party’s “right to privacy” in the context of social media is the subject for numerous motions in civil litigation. The scenario goes like this: Plaintiff sues defendant, alleging injuries. Defendants seeks discovery of Plaintiff’s social-media content, such as photos, posts...

One State Is Banning Personal Use of Social Media at Work

Wait, seriously? Yep. No employee of the State of South Carolina will be allowed to use social media on the job, "unless specifically required by the agency to perform a job function." Cassie Cope at TheState.com first reported this news here . According to the State Employee Code of...

Gawker Intern Lawsuit Shows the Need For Social-Media Savvy in the Legal Profession

Have you recently tried to communicate with someone under the age of 25? Have you tried to call them? How about email? What about text message, Facebook, or Twitter? I bet that your communicative outreaches are much more likely to gain a response if you choose any of the latter over the former. Thus...