For those tracking social media developments in labor law, September was noteworthy as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its first two decisions taking on an employer’s social media policy in Costco Wholesale Corp. and Karl Knauz Motors, Inc. Readers may recall that over the past year the NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a series of memoranda that provided insight into its interpretation of how the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies to social media policies and adverse employment decisions based on social media conduct. The current board’s latest decisions make clear that it seeks to follow the path set by Solomon and expand its influence in the workplace through social media cases.
The board also issued its decision following review of another employer policy in Karl Knauz Motors, Inc. The employer at issue owned and operated a high-end car dealership. In adopting the ALJ’s findings, the board analyzed the employer’s policy that provided:
Courtesy: Courtesy is the responsibility of every employee. Everyone is expected to be courteous, polite and friendly to our customers, vendors and supplies, as well as to their fellow employees. No one should be disrespectful or use profanity or any other language which injures the image or reputation of the Dealership.