This week the National Labor Relations Board issued another ruling on social media freedom in the workplace. What is different about this ruling is that the door is starting to open that will allow employees to not only complain about their workplace online, but possibly do it during work hours. The NLRB ruling invalidated the social media policy of Echo Star, saying the policy "chilled employees' exercise of their rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA").
Also this week, Online College Courses released an infographic based on data from cisco.com and usnews.com indicating that almost 30% of college students surveyed would sacrifice job salary for social media workplace freedom and device flexibility. Other data showed that three in five students felt no obligation to protect corporate information or devices on the job. Another piece of data that is disturbing, but not surprising: seven of ten employees admitting to breaking IT policies on a regular basis at work.
Both these items signal the acceleration of an issue that is smoldering in workplaces globally, and one that has C-suites everywhere scrambling to figure out what to do with social media at work. What kinds of ramifications could accompany the new NLRB ruling, and how are universities to keep up with the lack of direction from the NLRB on how to put a legal social media policy together?