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NLRB publishes first social media decision

Board is in line with Acting GC Lafe Solomon’s stance, finds Costco’s policy is overly broad

Over the past year, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon has issued a few reports in which he has presented his thoughts on how the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies to corporate social media policies. But earlier this month, the NLRB itself for the first time issued a decision on the subject.

On Sept. 7, the NLRB invalidated Costco Wholesale Corp.’s social media policy, which it found to be overly broad. The board found that the policy—which prohibited Costco employees from making statements on social media that could damage the company or other employees’ reputations—could chill employees’ free speech rights under the NLRA.

Experts say the NLRB’s decision falls in line with Solomon’s position that he outlined in the three reports he issued in August 2011, January and May. However, the decision doesn’t establish any concrete social media guidance for companies.

For more analysis on the NLRB’s Costco decision, read Ballard Spahr’s website, Ogletree Deakins’ employment law blog and Reed Smith’s employment law blog.

And for more InsideCounsel stories about the NLRB, read:

Lafe Solomon accused of violating NLRB ethics standards

Labor: NLRB says requesting confidentiality during internal investigations violates Section 7 rights

Labor: NLRB finds standard at-will employment provisions unlawful

NLRB memo offers social media policy guidance

Labor: Arbitration agreements and class action waivers legal under NLRA

New NLRB social media report advises specificity

Labor: Avoid trouble with the NLRB

Ashley Post

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