Need some guidance in dealing with employees’ use of social media in and about the workplace?  In 2011 and 2012, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) got active in telling employers how to manage their employees’ social media usage without violating employee rights, such as the right to discuss wages and working conditions with co-workers.

The  NLRB is the federal agency charged with enforcing the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Despite the “Labor” part of its name, as in organized labor, the agency’s scope covers almost all private employers, whether or not unionized.

In August 2011, the NLRB’s acting general counsel issued his first guidance document, addressing several cases of firings as a result of social media use in violation of an employer’s social media policies.  Here it is:

NLRBAugust18Memo SM policies

In January 2012, the second guidance document updated social media topics and example cases in the employment sphere.  Here is that NLRB report:

NLRB January 2012 Social Media report

And in May 2012, the office of the NLRB general counsel again addressed social media policies with its third guidance memo.  Here is that one:

NLRB May 2012 Social Media policies memo