In a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brian D. Balonick, shareholder in Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s Labor & Employment section, offers advice to employers for drafting or revising social media policies.

Title VII of the National Relations Act of 1935 makes it unlawful for employers to regulate employee’s discussions about work. Now that social media has taken those conversations to the Internet, some employers have struggled to create effective social media policies in response.

“Social media has become a sort of virtual water cooler where employees talk about work,” explains Balonick. “That’s making it challenging for employers to draft social media policies that are both effective and lawful.”

“First of all, employers need to know that creating effective, lawful policies is not a one-size-fits-all exercise,” continues Balonick. “There is a fine line between work discussions and unprotected discussions, and it changes with the industry and the business.”

Read the full article – “‘Virtual water cooler’ muddles work policies” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 21, 2014)