Fall 2014 Issue


Facebook, You Tube, Twitter….Oh My!!

A Practical Guide for Implementation of a Social Media Policy Covering Employees’ Use of Technology Outside the Work Place


Sara Markouc, Esq.



The numbers are staggering.  Facebook currently reports 1.19 billion users; LinkedIn has 259 million members; Twitter comes in at 500 million users; and YouTube reports approximately 4 billion views per day.   Social media is not going away but is, instead, becoming more prevalent every day. The good news for employers is that social media can have tremendous promotional value for your organization. However, there is also a great potential for employee misuse of this medium – both in and out of the work place.

What can an employer do to combat employees’ potential misuse of social media outside of the work place? The first line of defense is a comprehensive social media policy, in addition to your company’s acceptable use policy. This should be incorporated into your employee handbook, which new employees are required to review and sign off on having received upon hire.  The following items are critical to incorporate into this policy: 


 Additionally, employers should be aware of recent decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finding that postings on social media by employees constituted concerted activity that was protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Employers should consider including a clause in their social media policy describing activities that are protected by the NLRA and clearly stating that the policy is not intended to interfere with these rights.


Markouc is an attorney practicing in the labor and employment practice group of Cleveland-based Walter | Haverfield.