Faced with new forms of online interaction, the law is growing and adapting. A decision to tackle workplace issues via social media, either as an employer or as an employee, carries both risks and rewards. While courts are working toward a consensus, the most important advice is to consider how each interaction will look to an outside party.
This article by TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald and TELG principal David L. Scher was published by Employment Law Daily on March 18, 2014. The full article is available as a PDF on our site.
“As You ‘Like’ It”: Ascribing legal significance to social media
Social media has become so pervasive that even the act of noting its pervasiveness has become an exercise as trite as maligning Congress. It should come as no shock then, that social media has begun to affect workplace interactions in a way that has legal significance.
The Fourth Circuit recently held that a Facebook “like” can be protected speech for First Amendment purposes. Combined with the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that a “like” can be concerted activity for the purposes of the National Labor Relations Act, the law is clearly recognizing Facebook as more than just a social distraction. The Internet is the new home of the marketplace of ideas, and a place where virtually everyone has a megaphone to voice everything from frustration with management, to unsafe working conditions, to suspected fraud.