Why Your Employees Need a Social Media Policy?

October 13th, 2014

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Employer social media policies are important for avoiding the “lack of common sense” online mistakes employees may have with any “off the cuff” personal comments and posts on facebook, twitter, and instagram. While social media can be a minor problem when it relates to negative employee comments, it can also be a powerful asset and tool for the good of your company.

In the NLRB’s most recent social media decision, the National Labor Relations Board held that a Sports Bar’s termination of two employees for their participation in a profanity-laced Facebook discussion about the bar and grills owners violated the employees’ right to engage in “protected, concerted” activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This should give employers concerns when making decisions about whether to discipline or even terminate employees for allegedly posting improper comments on social media.

Click here to read our ELM LEGAL VIEW summary of the NLRB’s latest employee social media decision by guest blogger and attorney: Tom Gaillard.

Considering this new ruling, maybe it’s in your best interest to take some time to relook and review your social media policies you have relating to employee use of social media.

4 Important Steps For Your Employee Social Media Policy. 

1.  Actually create and have a updated (with new technology) policy

2.   Make sure employees know you have a policy and it will be enforced.

3.   Explain how it works in detail and discuss what they CAN’T do and what you would LIKE them to do with their personal social media use – as it relates to your company.

4.   Have proof they read and understand the policy.

Here are 5 Noteworthy Examples of Corporate Social Media Policies via Hubspot to incorporate into your existing or new social media policy.

With an clear and understood policy your employees can know what is expected of them and easily become your best advertisers, advocates, and ambassadors – not a possible business liability.

BOTTOM LINE: Make sure to establish and clearly communicate social media and other employee policies to your employees. Then make sure you can produce proof that your company advised all employees on any rules, policies, and violation consequences. If you think you need to rework or review your current policies, consult with your human resource professionals (ELM clients can contact Robert Petro @ (251) 470-0700) and/or your legal counsel before any possible action can be taken against you based on a termination due to a violation of company social media policies.

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Information was taken from or LEGAL VIEW guest blog written by Tom Gaillard an attorney with Satterwhite, Druhan, Gaillard & Tyler, LLC.  Tom practices law in all the federal and state courts in Alabama and Mississippi. Tom can be reached at (251) 432-8120 and attom@satterwhitelaw.com.

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