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 reflect forthcoming amendments relating to the use of mobile electronic devices while driving.
Updated to reflect noncompete law, effective January 15, 2020.
Updated to reflect notice-posting requirements in forthcoming Pittsburgh paid sick leave law.
Updated to include the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Paid Sick Time Poster.
As mandated by the Pittsburgh Mayor's Office of Equity, a Pittsburgh employer must post the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Paid Sick Time Poster.
Labor and employment notice-posting requirements at the federal, state and municipal levels have been monitored and updated.
Updated to include state-required federal inspection notice.
As mandated by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, covered employers must post the Oregon Federal Inspections Notice.
As mandated by the City of Philadelphia, Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance, covered employers must post the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fair Workweek Poster.
Updated to reflect amendments to workers' compensation notice-posting requirements, effective January 1, 2020.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of employee communications.