For FVLD’s September Legal Update, Jon Vegosen writes about the NLRB’s controversial stance on some common social media policies. As Jon explains, these developments raise concerns for employers.
For example, many employers have trade secrets and other confidential and proprietary information. Often such information is restricted to a small group of employees, and for good reason. Yet, the NLRB has flagged as unlawful a social media policy prohibiting the sharing of confidential or proprietary information with coworkers unless they need the information to do their jobs. Likewise, doctors and lawyers owe confidentiality obligations to their patients and clients. Moreover, employers have confidentiality obligations concerning their employees when it comes to laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nevertheless, these important obligations are threatened by the breadth of the NLRB’s pronouncements. Federal law gives companies rights to limit the use of logos and trademarks by third parties. Yet, the NLRB would deny a company this right when a company employee uses his employer’s logo or trademark for “non-commercial use” in connection with protected activities.
Click here to read the Update.