Labor and Employment Law

Recent Posts

Enforce Your Social Media Policies Evenly. Otherwise, It’s Bloggy-Blog Time.
Posted on 30 Sep 2015 by Eric Meyer

An employee who was allegedly fired for violating a company’s social media policy is going to have his day in court. And on this blog. Chris Redford, a white male, worked for a Louisiana TV news station. The station has a social media policy... Read More

Social Media Woes for School Districts
Posted on 3 Jan 2012 by Margaret (Molly) DiBianca

Teachers' use of social media continues to make headlines. NPR reported on a recent incident in New Jersey, involving Union High School teacher, Viki Knox. Knox was suspended in response to outrage surrounding comments she'd posted on her... Read More

Publishing Disciplinary Actions on Twitter
Posted on 10 Jan 2014 by Philip Miles

Just a quick post to introduce readers to Police Chief David O. Brown . He announces disciplinary actions and terminations (and the basis for them) on Twitter. For example: I have terminated 911 Call Taker Moises Limon today for driving while under... Read More

Why We Put Plaintiffs to Their Proof
Posted on 26 Feb 2014 by Jon Hyman

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 subscribers ], however, is much... Read More

Employers Might Not “Like” This Protected Concerted Activity Decision
Posted on 26 Oct 2015 by Jon Hyman

Does the National Labor Relations Act protect the mere act of an employee clicking the “Like” button on Facebook? According to Triple D, LLC v. NLRB (2nd Cir. 10/21/15) [pdf] , the answer is yes [subscribers can access an enhanced version... Read More

Is the NLRB backing off its position on social media as protected, concerted activity?
Posted on 10 Jan 2012 by Jon Hyman

A quartet of advice memos released by the NLRB's Office of the General Counsel over the past weeks suggests that the NLRB may be backing of its extreme protections of employee social media posts as protected, concerted activity. In Children's... Read More

Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion: Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media
Posted on 30 Oct 2014 by Philip Miles

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... Read More

Some Social Media Stats to Get You Thinking This Week
Posted on 17 Oct 2011 by Jon Hyman

This time next week, I'll be in Denver to speak about workplace social media issues at the annual Meritas Litigation and Labor & Employment Conference. In preparing for my session, I came across the following statistics (taken from a recent... Read More

California Passes Comprehensive Social-Media Privacy Laws
Posted on 7 Sep 2012 by Margaret (Molly) DiBianca

California is now the third state to pass legislation banning employers from requesting or requiring the social-networking passwords of employees and applicants. The bill was passed by the state Assembly on Wednesday, reports the WSJ Blog . Maryland was... Read More

The EEOC and Social Media: Late to the Party?
Posted on 14 Mar 2014 by John Holmquist

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... Read More

Social Media Posts and Concerted Activity
Posted on 15 Aug 2011 by GreenbergTraurig

by Eric Sigda In the last several months, the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") has attracted attention by issuing complaints against employers who disciplined or discharged employees for posting comments on Facebook or other social... Read More

Employees May Not "Like" You on Facebook, But That's Not Grounds for Termination
Posted on 17 Nov 2010 by Bullivant Houser Bailey PC

by Krista N. H ardwick & Clay D. Creps An employer's right to monitor and restrict what its employees say about the company on websites such as Facebook, Twitter and personal blogs may have drastically changed. The National Labor Relations... Read More

That's What They Said: Facebook "Like" Under the First Amendment, Same-Sex Marriage Benefits, Plus a Carnival
Posted on 19 Sep 2013 by Eric Meyer

Now, where did I put the mustard for my deep fried Red Bull battered Twinkie dog? (Like I would ever use ketchup for that?!?) While I search for the spicy brown, I'll get you caught up on the latest employment-law news... Over at the Wall Street... Read More

Facebook Posts Too Insubordinate, Lose NLRA Protection
Posted on 5 Nov 2014 by Philip Miles

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... Read More

One State Is Banning Personal Use of Social Media at Work
Posted on 26 Jan 2015 by Doug Esten

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 first reported this news... Read More

  • Blog Post: The Natural Connection Between Social Media Legal Issues & Employment Law

    Businesses do not experience the impact of social media in fragmented departmental silos. Rather, social media is an inherently cross-department, internal and external experience for most organizations. Employees, clients, third party providers, experts, consumers, journalists and competitors all...
  • Blog Post: Twitter Job Search – Does It Discriminate?

    by Karen Elliott Has your company joined the Twitter job posting trend? If it has, you may unwittingly be discriminating against older applicants. While many of the 40 and older set have acclimated to Facebook and Linked-In, Twitter still appeals predominantly to the under 40 age group . While...
  • Blog Post: Social Media as "Speech"

    Is a public-sector employee engaging in "speech" for purposes of the First Amendment when he "likes" a post on Facebook? A recent decision from the Eastern District of Virginia concludes that the answer is "no." In Bland v. Roberts (E.D. Va. Apr. 42, 2012), the court...
  • Blog Post: Terminated CFO Illustrates the Confidentiality Risks Social Media Pose

    According to a recent survey by Intel (h/t: Lifehacker ), 85% of American adults share information about themselves online, while 90% think others are sharing too much. Maybe the former CFO of Francesca's Holdings Corp., Gene Morphis, should have heeded the latter and shared less about his company's...
  • Blog Post: The NLRB Is Laughing All the Way to the Bank

    NLRB's Acting G.C. Lafe Solomon issued his third report on social media earlier this week. (PDF). And what a fervor it caused! What a frenzy! Twitter was all atwitter with excitement over the promise of some meaningful guidance on the interplay between the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA),...
  • Blog Post: Employment and Labor Roundup: Defense of Marriage Act decision, drugs, NLRB update, and more!

    Giddyap! It's been a short week, but we have tons to talk about in the labor and employment law world! Thinking out loud about the impact of yesterday's DOMA decision on the Family and Medical Leave Act. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit* held yesterday that Section 3 of the...
  • Blog Post: Beer muscles and a #SHRM12 lesson about accountability

    I'm a fairly easy-going guy. My buttons don't get easily pushed, I'm not easily riled, and I rarely get angry. But, when I get fired up....look out, sucka! One thing that really gets me going is when others fail to accept accountability for their mistakes and do nothing to fix them...
  • Blog Post: PA bill will protect privacy of employee social media passwords

    On June 18, 2012, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives introduced the Social Media Privacy Protection Act , which would protect the privacy of employee online user names and passwords. Which PA employers does this bill cover? All of them. More specifically, "a person engaged in a business...
  • Blog Post: Social Media Privacy Protection Act Pending in Pennsylvania

    The Social Media Privacy Protection Act (available here) is new legislation pending in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The proposed legislation is a response to the near-universal outrage over employers requesting Facebook and other social media passwords from job applicants . The Act is short and...
  • Blog Post: PA Judge Provides Social Media Discovery Rundown

    In Trail v. Lesko (opinion here) , Allegheny County Judge Wettick provided a great resource for anyone researching social media discovery issues. Judge Wettick authored a 20-page opinion, running through nine Pennsylvania state court decisions addressing discovery of social media in litigation: [The...
  • Blog Post: NASA's Social Media in the Workplace

    For any fellow space geeks out there, the last few week have been a very exciting NASA adventure, with Curiosity landing on Mars and transmitting amazing photos back to earth. Videos and photos of the NASA employees erupting with joy after the 7 minutes of silence during the landing were very moving...
  • Blog Post: California Passes Comprehensive Social-Media Privacy Laws

    California is now the third state to pass legislation banning employers from requesting or requiring the social-networking passwords of employees and applicants. The bill was passed by the state Assembly on Wednesday, reports the WSJ Blog . Maryland was the first state to pass a social-media password...
  • Blog Post: Yo, Boss! Did you say "Spacebook" and "Tweeter"?

    Penn State Kicker Sam Ficken probably had a pretty bad week. Last Saturday, he missed one extra point and four field goals in Penn State's 17-16 loss to Virginia. After the game, he was deluged with online insults. Thankfully, his coach, Bill O'Brien, came to his defense. Obviously, I think...
  • Blog Post: In light of NLRB ethics probe, is Walmart social media policy still ok?

    Remember that one little bone that the National Labor Relations Board threw to employers on social media policies? The guidance was generally atrocious, but in the last memorandum of the Acting General Counsel a policy developed by Walmart was approved and attached. I've suggested that employers...
  • Blog Post: Employers are increasingly worried about social media and workplace technology

    What policy will cause employers to lose the most sleep in the coming year? According to a recent survey conducted by BLR , social media will be the most formidable challenge for businesses in 2013. The complete answers to the question of which policy presents the biggest challenge to employers: ...
  • Blog Post: Lawffice Links - NLRB Social Media Ruling Protects Defamation?

    The NLRB continues to assault address employers' social media policies with a recent ruling that appears to protect defamation. Huh? The employer's policy prohibited online postings . . . "that damage the Company, defame any individual or damage any person's reputation, or violate the...
  • Blog Post: Students, Teachers, and Social Media

    Delaware was the first State to legislate the privacy of students' social-media passwords. California's legislature was the first and, so far, the only State to pass a bill that protects students' and employees' social-networking passwords . That bill is awaiting the signature of California's...
  • Blog Post: CA enacts workplace social media protections; NJ gets closer

    Last week, CA became the third state to pass a law that bans employers from requesting online usernames and passwords from employees and job candidates. Maryland was the first state to pass such a law; Illinois was the second. As in the other two states, not only is it illegal to request online information...
  • Blog Post: Some social media stats to chew on

    Last week, Facebook announced that there are more than 1 billion people using Facebook actively each month . Think about that number for a second. It means that 1 out of every 7 people on Earth are active on Facebook. When you consider the vastness of our planet and the diversity of its social-economics...
  • Blog Post: Social-Media Round Up (and other miscellany)

    Discovery of Social-Media Evidence is the topic that I'll be presenting today at the annual Office & Trial Practice seminar. Despite my far-reaching popularity (kidding, just kidding), the real celebrity at today's event will be U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia. Because I probably should...
  • Blog Post: Employee's Twitter hatin' costs him unemployment benefits

    An employee getting fired for caustic social-media posts is so 2011 . Having an application for unemployment-compensation benefits denied because of Twitter stupidity -- that's the new black. Stephen Burns was fired from his job after his employer learned that Burns had repeatedly tweeted that...
  • Blog Post: Social Media and the EMS Employee

    Paramedics and other emergency workers face unique communication issues when on duty. Speed, constant availability and focus are paramount. So how does one check their smart phone email, update their Facebook status or tweet out an update? Turns out they don't. At least not in some of the organizations...
  • Blog Post: Social Media SHOW (and Tell)

    Last Tuesday night, I was in Las Vegas. Kinda. Sorta. Actually, I had the pleasure of participating in a Google+ Hangout for an interactive Q&A on social media topics that took place in Last Vegas from #KronosWorks12 . Along with NPR's Lars Schmidt , Jonathan Brewer , Director of...
  • Blog Post: California Enacts Law Limiting Employers' Access to Employees' Social Media: What Employers Need to Know to Avoid the Minefields

    Whether you "like" it or not, social media is changing the legal landscape of employee privacy rights at a rapid pace. On September 27, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1844 , which prohibits employers from requiring (or requesting) employees or applicants to divulge...
  • Blog Post: Social Media is Leveling Public Relations Playing Field for Disgruntled Employees

    Facebook, blogs, Twitter, on-line petitions - Social media is leveling the public relations playing field. Gone are the days when big business controlled the media. Today, a disgruntled employee can fight back using social media. Using these new tools, former "water cooler" complaints can...