More on Social Media Monitoring

A union representing employees at a New York grocery chain has asked federal labor regulators to determine whether the store’s social media policy violates workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Have you been asked not to talk about work-related issues on social media? Share your experiences in the comments below. 

The chain, Stop & Shop, tried to prohibit workers from discussing their salaries and other company information on social media sites. It also required employees to inform store management if co-workers violated the policy.

The NLRB will investigate the situation and determine whether to bring formal charges before an administrative law judge. The union said it is considering meeting with New York lawmakers to seek legislative changes to address these concerns.

The episode is yet another situation of companies seeking to influence or regulate their employees’ social media activities. Some have gone so far as to require job seekers to hand over their Facebook passwords, something that Facebook itself urged users to decline.

Some states are considering laws that will protect social media users. Maryland has passed a bill prohibiting employers from asking for passwords, and Connecticut lawmakers are working on a similar bill.

Comments

  1. BY ConfusedCountry says:

    Social Media is the only thing we have to level the playing field. If employers want abuse employees we have the right to warn others not to work there. If an employer all of a sudden finds out they are unable to hire people because of a bad reputation then the balance of power is maintained.

    ….Wouldn’t a good company be proud to have you talking about them online? Only the bad companies don’t want the truth to be known. Social Media is like having a “Union without the Union”. Since companies don’t like Unions, it is obvious they won’t like social media either. Too much free speech! Corporations love capitalism but they hate democracy!

    • BY Jason says:

      There is merit to the argument that free speech is the seeds that should be sown in social media to level the playing field, but there also has to be leadership or a social responsibility to maintain a decorum for rants and trolling that are completely unsupported. The issue just surfaced in an organization I am associated with recently where a disgruntled group people with poor attitudes went onto social media to collectively portray the organization in the negative light that was very detrimental (pushing the limits of slander and libel). The larger issue is the organization was looking to distance itself from practices that have been recently abolished and remedied, only to have this group resurface the issues that were hugely difficult for the company to resolve and have the company need to address all over again. Where is the justice in this? This concentrated effort by a few obsessed people is just as much a problem that needs addressed.

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