Wow. Front page of the New York Times Business Section. This stuff must be important.
Steven Greenhouse authored a piece in yesterday’s Times, in which he summarizes the lay of the land with social media and the workplace. He does not take a particular position, but does a good job summarizing many of the developments we’ve been touching on here in terms of Facebook firings, password demand laws, and social media policies. With the latter, Greenhouse notes how federal regulators – most prominently the NLRB – “have declared many  blanket restrictions illegal.”
I agree with the article’s take on the concerns resonating among the business community that the NLRB “is intervening in the social media scene in an effort to remain relevant as private-sector unions dwindle in size and power.” But I also think it is more than simply that the NLRB wants to stay on the map even with reduced union strongholds (even assuming that’s true). I think, in the current Obama administration, we are seeing another arm of the federal government viewing itself as a pro-employee activist body. There is no reason to think that the NLRB will be any less so in the second term of this administration that began yesterday.
Employer Take Away: What should you as an employer take away from this development?
Even the New York Times has deemed these social media and employment law issues to be worthy of the front page. But to the loyal followers of this blog, aren’t you glad this wasn’t exactly news to you at this point?