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NLRB Rules Against Costco for Social Media Policy

NLRB Rules Against Costco for Social Media Policy

Social Media Policy Held to Limit Collective Bargaining

Last year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a provision of Costco’s Employee Handbook prohibiting employees from electronically posting statements that damage the Company or damage any person’s reputation constituted an unfair labor practice.  In so ruling, the Board found that the general prohibition would lead employees to reasonably construe the rule as restricting the right to collectively bargain. 

In light of this ruling, businesses should revisit and potentially revise their employment policies on social media to reflect more narrowly drawn prohibitions targeted at confidential information, false or inappropriate content, and speaking for the company.  The use of limiting language and examples can also help clarify the intent and nature of the policy and distinguish any restrictions from the right of collective bargaining.

Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.