Posts Tagged ‘social media policy’

7 Takeaways from the 2012 Triad Employment Law Update

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Last Wednesday, Nov. 7, CAI hosted its annual Triad Employment Law Update at the Koury Center in Greensboro. More than 160 HR professionals and company executives attended the conference to receive the latest updates in state and federal employment law.

Lawyers from Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP shared presentations with attendees on a number of topics related to recent changes in regulations. Some of the topics covered included updates from the new NLRB, best practices for immigration law compliance and changes from healthcare reform.

Below are seven key insights from the informative law update:

NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) Social Media Policy

  • Employees using social media to complain about their employers may be engaged in protected concerted activity under NLRA
      • Protected posts: seeking advice from coworkers, calling supervisors names, criticizing company actions
      • Unprotected posts: don’t involve other employees or individual gripes, criticizing the company’s clients and complaints to third parties
  • The board continues to offer policy guidance on a variety of social media cases

EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) Issues Final ADAAA (American’s with Disabilities Amendments Act) Regulations

  • Eliminated “per se” list of covered disabilities
  • Rejects minimum duration rule that results in short term condition being a disability

New EEOC Regulation on Age Discrimination

  • November 16, 2011—EEOC approves final regulation
    • Now easier for plaintiffs to prove age discrimination in disparate impact cases
    • Facially neutral practices that adversely impact older employees is discriminatory unless employer can prove “reasonable factor other than age”

OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) and Proposed Rule on Hiring Goals for Disabled

  • Proposed rule requires federal contractors to set a goal that 7 percent of each job group should be persons with disabilities
    • Require applicants to self-identify as disabled

Correct Your I-9s

  • In general, never do a new I-9,  no matter how bad the errors
    • Common errors that can be fixed: employee didn’t sign, employee didn’t date, employee didn’t fill in “A” number, employee didn’t fill in expiration date, employer didn’t fill in date of hire, employer didn’t fill in street address of company
    • Errors that can’t be fixed: not completing form within three days of hire and missing information from former employees

Avoiding Whistleblower and Retaliation Claims

  • Whistleblower: employer violation of law, rule or regulation
  • Retaliation: related to employee’s individual rights
  • The following are protected from retaliation:
    • current employees, former employees, job applicants and associates of those employees who engage in  protected activity
  • Three elements make up a claim:
    • Protected activity, adverse action and causal connection
    • Employee must have a good faith belief that there was a violation of a law when they engaged in protected activity (Title VII)

Effects of Healthcare Reform

  • Several mandates and changes become effective
    • Implementing external review processes
    • W-2 reporting of the value of employer provided health benefits
    • Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) to be given to all participants at enrollment and at each subsequent annual open enrollment
    • Automatic enrollment for employers with more than 200 full-time employees will be required for new full-time employees, with an opt-out notice
    • Health flexible spending account limit will be $2,500

For further assistance on staying compliant with state and federal employment laws, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Create a Social Media Policy to Protect Your Business and Employer Brand

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Nearly 64 percent of internet users in the United States visit social networking sites, according to data from eMarketer. Knowing that more than half of the country’s internet users participate on these sites, it is a safe bet to assume that some of your employees are also participating.  

Social media allows organizations to increase their brand awareness and interact on multiple levels with their customers. Although your company will experience several benefits when taking part in different networking sites, there are risks to be aware of as well.

As an employer, it is important to understand how your workforce’s interactions on the internet can affect your company and brand. Legal experts recommend drafting a policy that informs employees of appropriate uses of social media to help your company reduce its risk of unfavorable business situations, which can include but are not limited to:

  • A reveal of confidential or propriety information
  • The presence of negative comments about your company from employees
  •  A lawsuit regarding copyright infringement

Include the following must-have subjects in your company’s policy to reduce adverse effects from social media:

Guidelines

State that your company respects employees’ rights to use social networking sites. Inform them that you understand social media’s importance and their desire to express themselves. Let them know, however, that you have created guidelines to embrace the emerging technology and ensure that they use it responsibly. Make it clear to employees that your company’s policies regarding issues, such as equal employment opportunity and harassment, also apply to their use of social media at work.

Responsibility

Notify employees that their activity on social media sites should not be considered private. Although many networks allow their users to control their privacy settings, employees must be aware that others, including their friends, followers or connections, will view their content. They should also know that their actions on the internet are permanent, even if they make attempts to remove or delete information or conceal their identity. Explain to employees that they should use common sense and consider how their actions on social media can affect the company’s reputation and their own. Include language that says employees can be held legally liable for their online activities.

Respect

Protect your organization by encouraging employees who are upset, frustrated or angry to have private conversations with their managers or coworkers instead of posting critical comments on social media sites. Taking this step will help protect your employer brand. Employees must respect company information, whether it concerns coworkers or customers. Your policy should state that workers can not disclose confidential or propriety company information on the internet, and they will be disciplined if they do. Additionally, make employees aware of copyright and fair use rules. They need to know that copyright infringement and plagiarism laws also apply to the internet, so they should reference their sources and abide by copyright standards.

Data shows that some of your employees are most likely interacting with social media. Defend your brand and educate employees by drafting a comprehensive policy. For more information on using social media to promote business and avoid risks, or for additional help on drafting a policy, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: webtreats

An Analysis of Our Social Media in the Workplace Survey

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

From July 29 through Aug. 29, 2010, CAI conducted a survey on “Social Media in the Workplace” with 227 member organizations. The results have been compiled and include some of the following observations:

  • Social media policies in member organizations vary widely. While 24 percent have formal policies in place, 33 percent have only guidelines and 43 percent have none.
  • Depending on job role, 41 percent allow employees to access social media during work hours. Fewer (25 percent) allow access regardless of job role, while 35 percent do not allow access at all.

  • More than a third of respondents reported obstacles to using social media in their organizations. They included lack of policies or guidelines in place (47 percent); impact on employee productivity (46 percent); concern about legal issues (46 percent); and lack of knowledge in using tools (44 percent).
  • Nearly half of all organizations surveyed use social media for networking/relationship building and branding/marketing. Another 20 percent are considering using social media for these initiatives.
  • Some 30 to 41 percent use social media for external communication, reaching new customers, recruiting and sales.
  • A large majority (84 percent) of organizations believe their use of social media for business purposes will increase over the next one to three years.

The results indicate that while most respondents believe social media will be part of the business world in the near future, if not already in their current activities, they are not necessarily setting any guidelines or policy on its use. Legal experts are warning that an absence of such rules can result in  situations of employees using social media that put employers at risk, including:

  • Revealing confidential or proprietary information via social media that can be viewed by millions.
  • Making discriminatory or other critical comments regarding the company, its employees and/or its clients.
  • Promoting the company’s services or products without disclosing the employment relationship.

CAI can provide your company with guidelines in developing a social media policy that satisfies any goals you and your organization have regarding using social media effectively for recruiting, sales and/or networking while providing you with adequate legal coverage for employees who abuse the privilege.

For information on how to create this policy or to discuss related issues to this item, including more survey results, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo Source: Liako