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Employer Policies on Social Media - Traps for the Unwary

As the use of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media outlets continues to grow exponentially, employers are increasingly challenged to draft social media policies that do not violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “the Act”), which permits employees to come together to discuss work-related issues for the purposes of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection, (“Protected Concerted Activity”) and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has inherently recognized that use of social media has replaced such employee discussions that traditionally occurred “around the water cooler”. Now, social media has become “a”(if not “the”) primary method by which employees engage in “Protected Concerted Activity”.

As a result, the NLRB issued a series of guidelines for what employer social media policies should contain, and the NLRB has also issued multiple decisions that make clear that employer social media policies are a prime target of the NLRB, which intends to intensely scrutinize employer social media policies for compliance with the guidelines and to assure that the policies are not overly broad, ambiguous, confusing or conflicting. Many of the NLRB’s decisions have been appealed to and upheld by the federal courts. Interestingly, employers need to be aware that the protections of the ACT apply to union, as well as non-union, employees. Further, that the ACT was passed in 1935, when social media was non-existent, makes uncertain the legality of even those good faith and well-intentioned attempts by employers to comply with the requirements of the ACT because it is difficult for the law and the Courts to keep pace with the technological changes impacting social media. While the ACT itself remains stagnant, the social media avenues by which employees are exercising their rights to engage in Protected Concerted Activity are ever evolving. Employers are often more often than not left to speculate if their social media policies will withstand scrutiny by the NLRB and the Federal Courts.
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Legal

Consider These Top Five Factors Before Deciding to Litigate Your Case

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Litigation serves its purpose in our society. However, often mediation can help the parties resolve their legal dispute in a more amicable manner and avoid the stress of a court case. Some significant advantages of mediation include:

1. Time savings – Because mediation may take one or two days, on average, you save time away from your job or business that you would lose if you litigated the case.

2. Privacy – The mediation process is confidential for the parties and the mediator. They can’t discuss what they talked about in mediation. Also, the discovery process is also much more focused for mediation and may not result in the massive overhaul of documents that is more common in litigation.

3. Subject matter expertise – You get to select the mediator so you can choose someone with experience dealing with your particular legal issue rather than leaving the decision maker up to change like you do in mediation.

4. Customized solutions – You and the other party can create an agreement that serves both of your interests rather than relying on a standard court order that may not properly address your needs or concerns.

5. Agreement – Your agreement serves as a separate and enforceable contract.

Work/Life Balance

Three Concrete Ways to Improve Your Work/Life Balance Today

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1. Plan to do nothing – While it is important to try to manage your time wisely to achieve work/life balance, it is important to build downtime into your schedule. Pencil a few minutes to unwind in your schedule to make sure that you do it. A 15- or 30-minute break in which you walk around the office or visit with a friend may make all the difference in your day.

2. Say no – It is easy to take on more responsibilities when balancing your home and work lives. However, this simple word can help you avoid activities that take up your time and drain your energy. Consider the activities that really resonate with you and consider passing on others.

3. Develop a support network – Surround yourself with supportive people who you can lean on when you need to.

OUR ATTORNEYS

Divorce and Family Law Legal Attorneys
When Family Law Challenges Demand Effective Solutions

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Peter Russo
FOUNDER
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David C. Dagle
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Kara W. Haggerty
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Kathleen M. Gingrich
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Megan Strait
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Health

Avoiding the Flu this Season

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Employing good health habits can help you avoid the flu this season, such as:

  • Avoid close contact – Avoid being in close proximity to people who are already ill. Likewise, if you are sick, avoid being near others.
  • Wash your hands often – Constant washing can help you destroy germs.
  • Avoid contact with your eyes, nose or mouth – If you do come in contact with germs, avoid transferring the germs from your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Clean work surfaces – Clean surfaces at your work station that are used by others, especially if you know others have come into work sick.
  • Drink water – Drink plenty of fluids each day to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Practice good health practices – Get at least eight hours of sleep, exercise regularly and eat in a nutritious way to keep your immune system healthy.

Humor

Techie Humor
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A lady called into the tech line, and she couldn’t get her wireless router working. After unsuccessfully troubleshooting the problem, the supervisor sent out a technician to determine what the issue was. After he arrived, he took his tools to the bedroom where the computer, modem and router were setup.

“Ma’am, what seems to be the problem?” the tech asked.

“I can’t get online. I bought this wireless router so my laptop could connect without cords, and it’s not working.”

Mark, the tech, walked over to the devices and checked the plugins and connections. Nodding his head, he found the problem.

“I can see what the problem is here. Your modem is plugged in correctly, but there is no connection to your router, and the router is not plugged in.”

“But I thought wireless means there are no cords?”

“Sorry ma’am, the router needs power, so there is a cord to power it. It needs a cord to connect to the modem for internet access.”

Fields of Law

Here’s an overview of the fields of law our attorneys practice.

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5006 East Trindle Road
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Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
 
Phone: 717-610-4399
Toll Free: 888-743-4470
Fax: 717-591-1756