Union Files Complaint Over Social-Media Policy

Posted by Molly DiBiancaOn March 30, 2012In: Social Media in the Workplace, Union and Labor Issues

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UFCW Local 1500 filed a petition with the NLRB office in Brooklyn, NY, alleging that NY grocery chain Stop & Shop's social-media policy violates the National Labor Relations Act, reports Thomson Reuters. The unions takes issue with the policy, which it alleges is overbroad, impermissbily vague, and violates employees' Section 7 rights.

The policy was promulgated over the summer and, according to the news report, prohibits employees from disclosing confidential information, including salaries, on social-networking sites such as Twitter. It is also prohibits employees from "discrediting" the store's practices or products.

A union representing employees at a New York grocery chain has asked federal labor regulators to investigate whether the store's new social media policy is overbroad and violates workers' rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Finally, the union takes issue with the store's failure to negotiate the terms of the policy prior to its implementation.

The employer's spokesperson says tat the policy is meant to serve as reasonable guidelines for employees' online conduct and that the policy expressly provides that it will not be used to violate the NLRA.

Although the intent sounds "reasonable," the NLRB is likely to take issue with the policy's prohibition on sharing pay information, which has long been considered impermissible under the NLRA. We'll see whether the store acts quickly enough and to the satisfaction of the union.

See also:
The Love-Hate Relationship of Unions and Social Media

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