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 unemployment insurance law, effective July 1, 2020.
Updated to reflect employee notice provisions under amendments to the Virginia Human Rights Act regarding pregnancy and lactation protections; to include a law restricting noncompete agreements for low-wage workers; and to reflect protections regarding employees' discussion of wages, all effective July 1, 2020.
Updated to include notice-posting requirements in the Seattle Hotel Employee Protections Ordinances, effective July 1, 2020.
Updated to reflect an amendment relating to the use of an electronic communication device while driving; revised Chicago Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave Rules; and notice-posting requirements in the state Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act and the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance, all effective July 1, 2020.
Updated to reflect amendment relating to the use of an electronic communication device while driving, effective July 1, 2020.
Updated to include Seattle notice-posting requirements.
Updated to reflect amendment relating to the use of a mobile electronic device while driving, effective July 1, 2020.
As mandated by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards, covered employers must post the Seattle, Washington, Notice of Rights for Hotel Employees.
As mandated by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards, covered employers must post the Seattle, Washington, Notice of Rights for Employees of Ancillary Hotel Businesses.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of employee communications.