Human Resources News & Insights

GM’s social media policy gets thumbs-down from NLRB

Last week, we took a look at a social media policy that the National Labor Relations Board said conformed to labor law. This week, we heard about one that doesn’t — and it happens to belong to  General Motors.

Administrative law judge Ira Sandron examined GM’s social media policy after the NLRB charged that the policy was “overbroad” and could be interpreted by employees as prohibiting behavior protected by labor laws.

The problem area  in the policy? The NLRB pointed to one section that “prohibits employees from revealing non-public company information on any public site, including ‘any topic related to the financial performance of the company, information that has not already been disclosed by authorized persons in a public forum, and personal information about other GM employees such as his or her… performance, compensation, or status in the company.’”

That blanket prohibition, the ALJ said, could be interpreted as banning discussion of workers’ wages and working conditions — two of the major protected activities.

The judge gave its blessing to other parts of the GM policy, including sections requiring workers to be respectful and courteous to co-workers on social media and a provision designed to protect the company’s trade secrets.

The full ALJ decision can be accessed by going to this page on the NLRB website.

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