Discipline an Employee for Negative Comments About the Workplace on Social Media

Key Points

  • An employer should use caution when monitoring or disciplining employees for engaging in social media use relating to his or her employment even if such comments are offensive and inappropriate as it may be considered protected activity under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act to improve wages, hours and other working conditions.
  • An employer, however, may discipline an employee for several reasons, including, making negative comments about customers or clients, disclosing an employer's trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information; violating an employer's intellectual property rights and using protected information for business and commercial purposes; or harassing, libeling, threatening, or defaming fellow professionals, employees, clients or competitors.

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