In a recent post, we asked the question, "Are employer social media policies going too far?" The National Labor Relations Board seemed to think so. In fact, the NLRB said that many of the employer policies go too far in restricting employee use of social media websites.
Yet another employee has suffered termination because of social media use. Last year alone, 42 percent of employers reported taking disciplinary action against employees for social media use. That number nearly doubled from only two years prior, in 2009. Around four out of 10 businesses reported that they view social media use as an issue and have created social media policies that regulate use by employees both in and out of the office.
How far an employer can go in setting workplace rules is the central issue of a current Deerfield Beach, Florida lawsuit. This case has implications for employers in that city, Kansas City, Pittsburg, and cities across the nation because it relates to employee rights standards strongly protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Under the NLRA, employees are protected against hostile workplace environments and firing actions if those conditions occur due to employees protesting against employer rules, unreasonable restrictions or punitive actions. In this case, firings were levied only on employees who were wearing prison orange colored shirts to protest tightened restrictions like a ban against speaking with fellow workers over a cubicle wall.