Human Resources

Case Study: Social Media Policies: Are They Legal?

Here are several tips for successfully completing this case study.

  • You should incorporate information from the textbook, the lectures,  and maybe the discussions to support your position. In other words, tell  me more than just your opinion. Provide some relevant facts from the  course material to support your position.
  • Utilize the LexisNexis database in the DeVry University Online  Library to help you research this project. Try the Advanced Search area  and look up laws, news, and law reviews using combinations of keywords  like social media, Facebook, NLRB, and concerted activity.  

The Internet also has a wealth of information on this topic, and  you should use these sources to supplement your assignment if you  desire. On the Course Resources page under Modules there is a number of  websites that you can use to help you complete this assignment. If you  research your own Internet sources, be cautious about your sources. Make  sure that the site is from a reputable organization. There is an  expectation that at least some citations and references are used for all  assignments.

Week 2 Case Study: Social Media Policies, Concerted Activity, and HR Management

In the last few years, companies have begun initiating and  implementing social media policies for their employees to follow. These  policies range from encouraging employees to utilizing social media for  marketing purposes, to restricting the use of social media for employees  in order to ensure that they do not hurt the company image. As these  policies become more widespread, both the Society for Human Resource  Management and the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) have become  concerned about the limits on speech and activity that employers are  imposing on their workers. Further, in some states, laws are being  passed to protect employees and potential employees from being required  to disclose social media passwords during job interviews or after hire.  Finally, many ethical concerns are being raised about the use of social  media as a method of doing quick, informal background checks on  potential hires or current employees.

For your homework this week, research the following questions and  provide your findings in answers that are long enough to sufficiently  answer the questions (about 2–3 good paragraphs each). Provide citations  in APA style for each of your answers. Use APA formatting in your Word  document that you submit. Save your file with your last name in the  filename, please. Let your professor know if you have questions!

Questions to Research and Answer

The NLRB has made findings regarding the use of employee posts on  social media sites to discipline or terminate those employees.  Typically, these cases occur when an employee posts negative information  about his or her current employer or boss. Sometimes, these are public,  and other times, the employer uses spies or fake friending to see the  Facebook page of the employee.

  1. Find at least one case or article online regarding this topic, and  briefly explain the facts of the case, and the determination of the NLRB  as to whether the employee was properly or improperly disciplined or  terminated as a result of his or her use of social media to complain  about, criticize, or publicly bash his or her company or boss. Provide  the citation to the article that you discover. (Use the term concerted activity in your query or search to help you find one of these cases.) (50 points)
  2. Do you agree with the decision of the NLRB or court in the case that  you described in Question #1 above? Why or why not? (1–3 paragraphs).  (20 points)
  3. Assume that this case happened at a place where you have worked in  the past, or where you work now (or want to work.) Give an example of  how the decision in the case above could lead to better or worse  employee relations in your company. (30 points)
  4. Explain how you would communicate this decision to your employees or  supervisors (depending on the decision you have selected) to ensure  that situations like this do not occur again. In your answer, determine  whether or not you feel a social media policy is a good method. If so,  list at least three things you would include in your policy and why you  would include them. If you do not feel a social media policy is  appropriate, explain why you would not implement one (give at least two  valid reasons). (3–4 paragraphs) (35 points)

To ensure that your paper isn’t flagged in, do NOT copy  and paste the questions into your paper. Instead, set up headings for  each section where you answer the questions, using good APA form. Please  title your assignment with your last name and week number (for example,  Smith Week1.docx).

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