Employment Law Alert

Employment Law Alert

News and Updates on Employment Law

Tag Archives: Social Media

Governor Christie Signs Legislation Protecting Social Networking Accounts of Employees

Posted in Policies/Handbooks, Privacy
On August 29, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that prohibits most employers from requiring employees or prospective employees to disclose user names and passwords for social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The new law, which goes into effect December 1, 2013, makes New Jersey the 13th state to enact legislation protecting the social networking accounts of employees. The Gibbons Employment Law Alert previously covered the proposed bill before it became law.… Continue Reading

Gov. Christie Issues Conditional Veto of Social Networking Privacy Bill

Posted in Privacy
On Monday, May 5, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a conditional veto of Assembly Bill No. 2878, the controversial piece of proposed legislation that sought to bar most employers from requiring current or prospective employees to provide user names or passwords to social networking accounts and from inquiring as to whether current or prospective employees even had social networking accounts.… Continue Reading

Employee’s Facebook Posting Sinks Her FMLA Discrimination and Retaliation Claims

Posted in Disability, Family Leave
A Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") plaintiff's leave was proven fraudulent through her Facebook postings, resulting in summary judgment for her employer, dismissing her complaint. The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan concluded that the employer's reason for her termination was legitimate and unrelated to her exercise of FMLA rights.… Continue Reading

Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions in Employment Agreement Deemed Unlawful by NLRB Judge

Posted in Employment Agreements, Labor
Over the past two years, the National Labor Relations Board (the "Board") has attacked various employment policies of union and non-union employers alike, ranging from social media policies to policies that establish protocol for employees to follow when responding to media inquiries. The Board also has been critical of at-will language commonly found in employee handbooks and policies used by employers throughout the country. In light of the Board's recent actions, some employers--particularly non-union employers that have not historically focused on Board developments--have begun to reassess policy language that has long existed in their handbooks. Due to a recent administrative law judge ("ALJ") decision, employers should add employment agreements to their list of employment practices to review and Board developments to watch in 2013.… Continue Reading

NLRB ALJ Strikes (Employer Policies) Again!

Posted in Labor
In a recent decision, a NLRB administrative law judge (the "ALJ") found three policies in the Dish Network's nationally-distributed handbook unlawful: a social media policy, a policy that restricts contact with the media, and a policy that restricts contact with government agencies. While the challenge to the social media policy is nothing new, the decision serves as a reminder for union and non-union employers alike that no policy is safe from scrutiny by the National Labor Relations Board (the "Board" or the "NLRB").… Continue Reading

Taking Over Former Employee’s LinkedIn Account Not a Violation of Federal Law, According to Pennsylvania District Court

Posted in Privacy
A Pennsylvania Federal District Court has decided that an employer did not violate the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act ("CFAA") or the Federal Lanham Act, when it took control of a departed employee's LinkedIn account. The Court ruled that (1) the CFAA, which in part prohibits unauthorized access to a computer with the intent to defraud, did not come into play and (2) no trademark infringement in violation of the Lanham Act had occurred.… Continue Reading

NLRB’s Third Social Media Report Includes Model Social Media Policy

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
On May 30, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board's Acting General Counsel issued a third report on social media cases. This report follows the Board's August 2011 and January 2012 reports on the subject, which we previously discussed. The guidance contained in the three social media reports is applicable to most private sector employers, unionized or not.… Continue Reading

NLRB Report on Social Media Cases Provides Guidance for Employers on Social Media Policies

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
The National Labor Relations Board's Acting General Counsel recently issued a report and press release summarizing the outcomes of recent NLRB cases involving employees' use of social media and the legality of employers' social media policies. Among the cases discussed in the report are several in which the Board found that provisions of employers' social media policies violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibits work rules that would "reasonably tend to chill employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights" to engage in "concerted activities" for the purpose of "mutual aid or protection."… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Orders Plaintiff to Disclose Facebook and MySpace Passwords, User Names, and Log in Names to Defendant

Posted in E-Discovery
A Pennsylvania trial court recently became one of a growing number of courts to rule that a plaintiff's non-public Facebook and MySpace postings are discoverable. On May 19, 2011, in Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc., No. CV-09-1535, 2011 WL 2065410 (Pa. Comm. Pl. May 19, 2011) the Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania granted the defendant's motion to compel the plaintiff, a former employee of the defendant, to disclose his Facebook and MySpace passwords, user names and log in names. Notably, the Court reasoned that because the plaintiff voluntarily posted all of the pictures and information on his Facebook and MySpace sites, he had no reasonable expectation of privacy to the postings although the posts were on non-public pages.… Continue Reading

NLRB “Facebook Firing” Case Ends with Settlement

Posted in Labor, Policies/Handbooks
The highly publicized "Facebook firing" case, brought by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and discussed in a November 12, 2010 post in the Employment Law Alert, ended with a settlement announced on February 7, 2011. According to the Complaint, American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc. ("AMR") terminated an employee for criticizing her boss on her Facebook account.… Continue Reading

Employer Social Media Policies: The Dangers of Too Much Or Not Enough

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
Employers wanting to prohibit damaging communications from being made about them by employees through blogging and rapidly evolving social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn should be aware of a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. asserting that two of the more common employer restrictions on employee blogging and social media communications constitute unfair labor practices and are, therefore, unlawful. In its News Release, the NLRB pointed to two of the provisions in the company's blogging and internet posting policies as being unlawful under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).… Continue Reading

Employee Personal Use of Company-Owned Electronic Devices in the Wake of Stengart and Quon

Posted in E-Discovery, Policies/Handbooks, Privacy
In this technology age, employees increasingly make personal use of workplace electronic communications applications. The legal ramifications of such personal use - and how employers can create policies that balance the right to monitor the workplace with employees' expectations of privacy - were examined in an informative panel discussion, "Electronic Communications Policies in the Wake of Stengart and Quon" during Gibbons P.C.'s Fourth Annual E-Discovery Conference on October 28, 2010.… Continue Reading