In the increasingly digital world we live in, businesses must adapt to changing technologies and institute workforce policies that effectively manage how such technologies can be used in the workplace. There is a fine line between establishing company policies regarding social media use and infringing on the individual rights of employees according to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). To help franchise owners understand this fine line and how to better navigate it, Michael Pires from Public Affairs Conference sponsor ADP, Inc. spoke on how to develop a social media policy that protects one’s business as much as possible while respecting all the established rights of their employees.
The NLRA states that employees, both unionized and non-unionized, have the right to engage in “concerted protected activity,” or essentially voice their complaints or displeasure over their work environment. With the rise of social media like Facebook and Twitter, the ways for employees to gripe is quickly expanding beyond the realm of what employees can control. According to Pires, the best way to draft a social media usage policy is to not explicitly restrict protected activities, but to provide specific examples of how social media should and should not be used.
Since the language can be vital in determining if the company policy is in violation of the NLRA, Pires advised seeking legal counsel to ensure that all verbiage in the stated policy aligns itself with the rest of the related company rules and does not infringe on the rights of one’s employees.
Navigating the waters of preventative social media policies and employment rights can be a tricky business, but with the help of Michael Pires, those attending the IFA Conference were able to get a crash course in how to deal with social media in the work place.