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 Pasadena Minimum Wage Ordinance.
Updated to include information on the notice-posting requirements under the Wisconsin Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave Act.
As mandated by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division, most Wisconsin employers need to post the Wisconsin Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave Act Poster.
As mandated by the Pasadena Department of Human Services and Recreation, all Pasadena employers subject to the Pasadena Minimum Wage Ordinance must post the Pasadena, California Minimum Wage Poster.
Updated to include notice-posting requirements under the Pasadena Minimum Wage Ordinance, effective July 1, 2016.
Updated to include information on the notice-posting requirements under the Wisconsin Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave Act, effective July 1, 2016.
Updated to reflect forthcoming notice-posting requirements for certain seasonal employers.
Updated to include immunity notice under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, effective May 11, 2016.
Updated to include notice-posting requirements under the state's forthcoming pregnancy accommodations law.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of employee communications.