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Policies Within Social Media And The National Labor Relations Board

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What Is the National Labor Relations Board?

In 1935 Congress passed a law called the National Labor Relations Act which was a policy of the United States that protected workers full freedom of association. The NLRA protects workplace democracy by giving employees at private-sector workplaces the right to seek better working conditions and designation of representation without fear of retaliation. This then lead into the creation of the (NLRB) National Labor Relations Board which is an independent federal agency that protects these rights of employees to join together and improve wages and work conditions. Although these laws are set in place there are still businesses that that violate these terms.

Board Case Violation At BMW

In 2012, the Nation Labor Relations Board began to issue decisions in cases involving discipline for social media postings. There have been many violations of this law but one that stood out was the violation at BMW. A BMW employee was fired in September 28, 2012, for photos and comments that were posted on his Facebook page that violated Federal Labor Law. The question, in this case, came down to whether the BMW salesman was fired just for posting photos of an embarrassing accident occurring at a competing Land Rover dealership, which did not have anything to do with his fellow employees, or for posting comments and photos with other employees about serving hot dogs at a BMW car event. Both these photos and comments were posted on the same day and the Board agreed with the Administrative Law Judge that the salesman was fired only for the photos he posted of the car crash and Land Rover which was not “protected-concerted” activity and so was not protected.

Violation At Tesla

On March 25 a decision was made by the Nation Labor Relations Board unanimously that Tesla violated the National Labor Relations Act after prohibiting employees from talking to the media. The NLRB ruled that Tesla CEO Elon Musk violated labor laws by posting in a tweet that Tesla workers would need to give up their stock options if they were unionized. They mandated that he remove the offending tweet, but Musk and Tesla moved to appeal that decision.

Violation At Amazon

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint accusing Amazon CEO Andy Jassy of violating labor law during multiple media interviews this year where he stated that workers are better off without a union. The complaint focuses on two separate interviews Jassy conducted with CNBC and Bloomberg in April and June some of the few times he has spoken publicly since his labor win at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island, New York earlier this year. In the April interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin of CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Jassy stated that he thinks workers are better off having “direct connections with their managers” and that unions can get in the way of change because of them being “much more bureaucratic” and “much slower.” He restated similar statements on June 8 during an interview at the Bloomberg Tech Summit.

An attorney with the Amazon Labor Union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB regarding Jassys comments. In the complaint, the agency states that Jassy’s statements were “interfering with, restraining, and coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed” under the National Labor Relations Act.

Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel defended Jassy saying “The comments lawfully explain Amazon’s views on unionization and the way it could affect the ability of our employees to deal directly with their managers, and they began with a clear recognition of our employees’ right to organize and in no way contained threats of reprisal,” Nantel said in a statement. “We believe our employees, their families, and other stakeholders benefit from a full understanding of the facts on important topics like this.”To settle the complaint, Jassy and Amazon can agree with the union or take the case further to an administrative law judge. The agency that filed the complaint is also pushing for the company to contact their workers a notice of their labor rights.

What Is Social Media Policy

A social media policy for a company is an official document that includes detailed guidelines and requirements for the company’s social media use. It covers how your employees should use social media, both personally and professionally. A social media policy also helps protect your company’s online reputation and urges employees to get involved in sharing about the company in their online networks. For example, here are some recommendations that Intel uses in its social media policy.

https://www.nlrb.gov/about-nlrb/rights-we-protect/your-rights/the-nlrb-and-social-media

https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2022-10-27/nlrb-alleges-amazons-jassy-violated-labor-law-in-interviews

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