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THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH

LawCrossing Legal Daily News Feature

Section 7, National Labor Relations Act and Employer’s Social Media Policy A union representing workers at the Stop & Shop grocery chain in New York has filed a petition this week to the National Labor Relations Board office, Brooklyn. The petition alleges that the grocery chain’s social media policy was “impermissibly vague, overbroad and violated Section 7 rights of employees” of the National Labor Relations Act.

03/30/12

According to Patricia McConnell, the lawyer representing the union, “The mere maintenance of

The United Food and

the policy violates the law, whether it’s enforced in

Commercial Workers Local

discipline,” or not.

1500 alleges that the social media policy of Stop & Shop, published in July, forbids workers from disclosing

Arny Murphy-St. Laurent, the spokeswoman for

confidential information on social networking sites such

Stop & Shop told the media that the social media

as Facebook or Twitter. Such ‘confidential information’

policy of the store was simply to provide “reasonable

also includes the personal salaries of workers.

guidelines” during their social media activity. There is no infringement as the policy also states in small print

The new social media policy of Stop & Shop also forbids

that the guidelines are not to be used in violation of the

employees about discrediting the store’s practices or

NLRA.

products on social networks. Surprisingly, in a GestapoBut then why post such guidelines at all?

like requirement, the new social media policy also requires employees to inform managers of colleagues who violate the policy. Disciplinary measures for

The NLRB has been moving to clarify employer’s

violating the social media policy extend to termination

obligations under the NLRA regarding social media

of concerned employees.

policies. The body issued a report in January detailing recent enforcement actions related to social media

Can an employer really pass such rules that control

issues in the workplace.

freedom of speech of its employees on their personal The NLRB recently found in at least six cases before

accounts on social media? Does seem absurd.

it that the social media policies of employers were The union alleges that Stop & Shop violated the

“overbroad,” contained unlawful language or illegally

collective bargaining rights of the employees by not

limited the activities of employees infringing their rights

consulting the union before passing and enforcing such

under the NLRA.

a policy.

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Section 7, National Labor Relations Act and Employer's Social Media Policy  

Violation of Section 7 of NLRA, union sues employer over social media policy.

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