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 the forthcoming notice-posting provisions of the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018.
Updated to reflect forthcoming Alameda notice-posting requirements.
Updated to reflect notice-posting and confidentiality requirements under the state paid sick leave law and to remove the preempted local paid sick leave laws, effective October 29, 2018.
Updated to remove the preempted local paid sick leave notice-posting requirements, effective October 29, 2018.
Updated to reflect new information regarding moving expense reimbursements, and meal and entertainment expenses, effective January 1, 2018.
As mandated by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, covered employers must post the New Jersey Earned Sick Leave Poster.
As mandated by the Delaware Department of Labor Office of Anti-Discrimination, covered Delaware employers must distribute the Delaware Sexual Harassment Notice.
As recommended by the New York Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights, all New York employers should post the New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Poster.
Updated to include New York Department of Labor and Division of Human Rights notice-posting recommendation.
HR guidance on the legal risks and benefits of employee communications.