Overview: Employers have a broad spectrum of choices for communicating with employees. Bulletin boards, while still a viable means of communication, have long been joined by email messages, tweets and Facebook postings.
Internal and external communications should be monitored and limited by employers to ensure consistency in organizational messages and compliance with federal, state and local laws. Employers should address communications issues in a comprehensive manner, referencing such topics as: confidential business information; media contacts; Internet use; at-will disclaimers; restrictive covenants; use of mobile devices; and communications training. Employers should also focus on keeping the avenues of communication open even in challenging times, such as during a corporate merger or upon an employee's exit from the organization.
Trends: Social media policies, at-will disclaimers, and communications during internal investigations continue to be scrutinized by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Union-free, partially unionized and unionized employers need to heed warnings from the NLRB regarding the unlawful restriction of employees' right to engage in protected concerted activities.
Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to include notice-posting requirements under the forthcoming Austin paid sick leave law.
Updated to include notice-posting requirements in the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, effective February 11, 2018.
Updated to include state earned sick and safe leave notice-posting requirements.
As mandated by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation's Division of Labor and Industry, all Maryland employers must post the Maryland Earned Sick and Safe Leave Employee Notice Poster.
As mandated by the California Department of Industrial Relations, certain California employers must post the California Notice to Employees of Inspection by Immigration Agencies.
Updated to include California Department of Industrial Relations posting requirements.
Updated to reflect information on a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling regarding nonsolicitation agreements.
Updated to reflect forthcoming law regarding employee inventions.
Under review in relation to recent NLRB legal developments; revised statement to ensure that the provisions do not conflict with an employer’s arbitration program.
Updated to reflect the federal tax reform law's effect on nondisclosure agreements.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of employee communications.