The nation's labor laws needed a status update. With workers increasingly finding themselves in trouble for comments they have made on social media websites, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has released a set of guidelines on what is -- and is not -- protected.
The rules derive from established precedents for workers' rights as well as the NLRB's experience with prior social media cases. In the broadest terms, employees have long been protected from employer retaliation when engaging in a "concerted activity" to improve their working conditions. In deciding what to protect, the NLRB will continue to look for action deemed to be constructive, as opposed to an individual gripe. (Nasty wall posts are most likely not going to be protected.) And while the NLRB is more likely to protect actions made by a group, with or without the help of a union, there is precedent for the NLRB protecting individuals who seek to improve labor conditions on their own.