Social media has become an integral part of our lives, blurring the boundaries between personal and professional realms. With the widespread use of mobile phones and various social media platforms, employers are facing new challenges in managing their employees’ online activities.

Developing a comprehensive social media policy has become crucial to address issues such as misrepresentation, inappropriate use, disclosure of confidential information, and harassment.

In this article, we will explore the importance of social media policies, their legal implications, and best practices for employers.

Over 90,000 small and midsize businesses partner with Asure. Learn more about how Asure can help with HR policies, employee handbooks, and compliance.

Understanding the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

When it comes to social media policies, it is essential to consider the legal framework provided by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Although the NLRA primarily focuses on protecting workers’ rights to organize and unionize, it also extends to social media usage in the workplace.

Section 7 of the NLRA ensures employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activities, including discussing terms and conditions of employment with their colleagues.

It is important to note that the interpretation and enforcement of the NLRA can vary, depending on the political leanings of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which oversees its implementation.

The Purpose of an Employer Social Media Policy

An employer social media policy serves as a guide to regulate employees’ online behavior and protect the company’s interests. Some of the key goals of such a policy include:

Preventing misrepresentation

Employees should not misrepresent the company’s views or disclose confidential information on social media platforms.

Ensuring appropriate use

Employers can define acceptable and non-business-related use of social media during work hours to maintain productivity.

Addressing harassment

Companies can include provisions to prohibit harassment on social media platforms, ensuring a respectful and inclusive work environment.

Defining Social Media and Its Scope

Given the ever-evolving nature of social media platforms, it is crucial to define social media broadly in a policy.

This approach prevents the policy from becoming outdated quickly. Social media encompasses online platforms for posting commentary, opinions, pictures, audio, and video in both personal and professional contexts. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok fall under the scope of social media policies.

Balancing Restrictions and Employee Rights

When implementing a social media policy, employers must strike a balance between necessary restrictions and employees’ rights. The NLRB examines how these policies impact employees’ ability to engage in protected concerted activities.

Even if a policy appears neutral on the surface, the NLRB scrutinizes its potential impact on employees’ rights and evaluates the company’s justifications for such restrictions.

Best Practices for Social Media Policies

To ensure compliance with the NLRA and foster a positive work environment, employers should consider the following best practices:

Review existing policies

Assess other workplace policies (e.g., code of conduct, anti-harassment) and incorporate social media guidelines to maintain consistency.

Clearly define prohibited conduct

Specify actions that are strictly prohibited on social media platforms, such as disclosing confidential information, engaging in harassment, or misrepresenting the company.

Allow for protected activities

Acknowledge employees’ rights to discuss wages, benefits, and working conditions, as protected by the NLRA.

Provide training and education

Offer regular training sessions to employees about responsible social media use, privacy settings, and potential consequences of violating the policy.

Regularly update the policy

Social media platforms and online behaviors evolve rapidly. Ensure that the policy remains up to date to address emerging challenges and technological advancements.


Crafting an effective social media policy is crucial in today’s interconnected world. By considering the legal implications of the NLRA and implementing best practices, employers can strike a balance between protecting their interests and

Over 90,000 small and midsize businesses partner with Asure. Learn more about how Asure can help with HR policies, employee handbooks, and compliance.

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