Reaction Report - Labor Relations

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Reaction Report
Summary
Tim Devaney’s article “Companies cry foul over new guidance on social media policies,” examines how employer policies on social media use are violating Section 7 activities according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB found that six out of seven corporate social media policies it examined included provisions that fail to pass regulatory muster, proving too to enforce or too intrusive on their worker’s rights of free expression online. (Devaney, 2012, para 2) Employers are trying to control and prevent social media activities of their employees by mandating policies that are “overly broad or unlawful” thus infringing on the National Labor Relations Act’s (NLRA) employee protections to the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations. (Devaney, 2011, para 15 and 17) According to the NLRB, companies cannot interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of NLRA Section 7 rights. (Devaney, 2011, para 18) Devaney states that acting NLRB General Counsel Lafe Solomon states that “warning employee’s to think carefully about friending co-workers, not to reveal non-public information on any public site, or to report any unusual or inappropriate internal social media activity” (2011) are examples where various social media policy language impedes employee’s rights under NLRA Section 7. Solomon also states that “without further clarification of what is objectionable or inflammatory [according to employers], employees could reasonably construe this rule to prohibit robust protected discussions about working conditions or unionism.” (Devaney, 2011, para 5) Solomon does state that employer policies that encourage employees to be respectful in posting comments, complaints, photographs and videos are on the right track and are not violating employee protections under NLRA section 7. (Devaney, 2011, para 26) Response

Devaney’s article presents some interesting evidence on how...
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