Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Publication Source

Business Horizons

Volume

58

Issue

5

Inclusive pages

571-579

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2015.05.008

Publisher

Elsevier

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Online social media websites have become a major way by which people communicate. This communication can include information deemed relevant to work, in both positive and negative ways. There has been a rise in workers fired for posts they have made on social media. With such terminations come questions of their legality, especially when they involve workers discussing work-related matters and work conditions. These discussions can also include multiple workers chiming in with comments or Facebook ‘likes.’ A number of such termination cases have been brought to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with different rulings made based on the nature of the social media content and the amount and type of response by fellow workers. This article reviews NLRB cases related to social media terminations and common guiding principles that emerge across cases. We give four recommendations to organizations as to how to engage in legal terminations and create social media policies that will pass muster with the NLRB. We discuss general guidelines for crafting social media policies. Finally, we discuss what we still need to know and research in this new and rapidly changing work context.

Keywords

Social media, Facebook, Terminations, NLRB, Organizational policies

Disciplines

Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Internet Law | Labor and Employment Law | Organizational Behavior and Theory