A union representing employees at a New York grocery chain has asked federal labor regulators to determine whether the store’s social media policy violates workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act.
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The chain, Stop & Shop, tried to prohibit workers from discussing their salaries and other company information on social media sites. It also required employees to inform store management if co-workers violated the policy.
The NLRB will investigate the situation and determine whether to bring formal charges before an administrative law judge. The union said it is considering meeting with New York lawmakers to seek legislative changes to address these concerns.
The episode is yet another situation of companies seeking to influence or regulate their employees’ social media activities. Some have gone so far as to require job seekers to hand over their Facebook passwords, something that Facebook itself urged users to decline.
Some states are considering laws that will protect social media users. Maryland has passed a bill prohibiting employers from asking for passwords, and Connecticut lawmakers are working on a similar bill.