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NLRB Strikes Employee Online Disclaimer Policy

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NLRB Strikes Employee Online Disclaimer Policy

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Ossian Law P.C.
IT Law Alert May 5, 2014

NLRB Strikes Employee Online Disclaimer Policy: Most organizations have policies that require or prohibit specific actions by employees online. A recent NLRB administrative law judge (“ALJ”) decision striking down provisions of the Kroger Company’s “Online Communications Policy” could dramatically impact the ability to manage employees’ online actions.

Kroger’s policy required that employees use following disclaimer when posting any “work-related information” online: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of The Kroger Co. family of stores.” The ALJ struck this provision as overly broad and implicating Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. Section 7 provides, in part, that employees have the right to engage in” concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”

The ALJ similarly struck down provisions in Kroger’s policy that prohibited employees from:

  • Compromising or using without permission Kroger’s intellectual property assets
  • Discussing confidential and proprietary information in any public forum
  • Commenting on “rumors or speculation” related to Kroger’s business plans
  • Engaging in “conduct that would be inappropriate at work”As a result of this decision, effectively managing employees’ online conduct is more challenging then ever. Read the ALJ’s full decision here.

Contact us at Ossian Law P.C. regarding social media law or any other information technology law question.

 © 2014 Ossian Law P.C.
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