So, if an employee disparages the quality of the employer's product or service without relating it to any matter protected by the NLRA, that conduct likely is not protected and may result in discipline, Garrison explained. Submissions must be received by the end of the Submission Period. Allen Smith, J.D., is the manager of workplace law content for SHRM. ", In the other tweets, Kennedy replied to tweets posted by customers. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. "If you have a situation that is egregious, don't ignore it, even if you might end up with a board charge. Chipotle’s Social Media Policy Ruled Illegal. A large part of the case against Chipotle, was their response to a series of uncomplimentary Tweets by an employee. He raised his voice at the restaurant manager (who testified before the ALJ that she felt intimidated). Chipotle is testing smoked brisket at restaurants in Cincinnati and Sacramento. Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks. If it had gone the other way, it would be impossible to stop any employee from posting any complaints in public. We may combine information that we have about you with information we obtain from third parties. The potential winners will be subject to verification and compliance with these Official Rules. Let’s start with an excerpt from the policy: Chipotle’s social media team is solely responsible for the company’s social media activity. Unless an employee is spreading lies or leaking confidential information for the express purpose of injuring you or your company, you’re better off leaving it alone. ​​If you think your organization's social media policies are up to date and comply with current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rulings, make sure old versions of your policies aren't still circulating. Chipotle tried to cover their bases by adding a disclaimer to the social media policy: This code does not restrict any activity that is protected or restricted by the National Labor Relations Act, whistleblower laws, or other privacy rights. Employers don't have to ignore anything posted on social media, Wilson said. Crew members only make $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?". You may not speak or write on Chipotle’s behalf. Tweets like: “Nothing is free, only cheap #labor. statements about or relating to Chipotle, our employees, suppliers, customers. else if(currentUrl.indexOf("/about-shrm/pages/shrm-mena.aspx") > -1) { These old versions may come back to bite, as Chipotle discovered in recent litigation. These old versions may come back to bite, as Chipotle discovered in recent litigation. He was not seeking a pay raise for himself, or requesting that he be excused from work when it snows heavily," the ALJ said. The ALJ concluded that Kennedy's postings were protected concerted activity covered by the NLRA. . What we learned from this case is that it’s getting harder and harder to keep control of your company’s reputation, especially where social media is involved. And the implicit suggestion not to post anything that would constitute protected concerted activity in the future was unlawful, according to the judge. Being a member on the social media content team, your social media work in regards to Chipotle must first be … "Certainly any posting that violates other rules—disclosure of trade secrets, HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] confidential information, or harassment—must be dealt with. Statistics show that Chipotle social media managers respond to 83% of all Facebook posts. Social media is also a quick way for you to connect with friends and share information and personal opinions. Though Chipotle originally lost on this count, it was later overturned by the Labor Review Board. Chipotle’s Illegal Social Media Policy. A judge ruled in his favor and stated that Chipotle’s social media policy violated labor laws and ordered the restaurant chain to post signs explaining that these policies, as well as some others, were illegal. Since the new social media policy was never provided to Kennedy and Kennedy’s supervisors relied upon outdated policy, the NLRB adopted the ALJ’s finding that Chipotle still technically maintained the old policy. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Join hundreds of workplace leaders in Washington, D.C. and virtually March 22-24, 2021. A “concerted” act is when one person acts on behalf of a group for the benefit of that group. In the end, the Labor Relations Board ordered Chipotle to rewrite their social media policy to comply with all of the Board suggestions. He was not seeking a pay raise for himself, or requesting that he be excused. The ALJ also held that the company violated the NLRA by prohibiting an employee from circulating a petition challenging the company's break policy.

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