\"\" Our past article entitled \”Your Employee Posted WHAT on Facebook?\” generated a lot of interest.  It is a topic that is being debated in courtrooms, boardrooms and chat rooms everywhere.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) case we referenced in our article got people thinking about the ramifications of comments employees post on social media networks, even when done on an employees own time and on their own computer.

More and more companies are adopting social media policies regarding Internet use at work but what an employee posts during their personal time and what they say about their employers is a sticky issue.

So what can an employer do now?  The NLRB ruled that one company’s policy prohibiting employees from depicting the company “in any way” on social media sites was overly broad and violated the National Labor Relations Act of 1935.

In a different case, the board determined that a policy prohibiting the “disparagement of company’s or competitors’ products, services, executive leadership, employees, strategy and business prospects” on social media sites, did not restrict employee speech as outlined in the Act.

Currently it seems like the only hard and fast rule is that employers can prohibit their employees from sharing proprietary information.

However, it has been suggested that a social media policy can be used to inform employees of the appropriate way to use social media, how it shouldn\’t be used, that any comments about the workplace should be appropriate and general and to provide a written procedure for reporting complaints / grievances.

While the courts are busy deciding what can legally be vented on public forums there are still employees finding themselves in hot water because of the things they have posted on-line.

This discussion is sure to continue as the courts hear more cases and rulings are handed down.  We’ll keep you posted.