Policy Against “Inappropriate” Conduct May Be Unlawful

By far, the biggest reaction from employees and managers during my training sessions comes when I discuss NLRB decisions. The following recent decision should make you review your policies.

The company’s employee handbook prohibited employees from having a “discourteous or inappropriate attitude or behavior.” The NLRB ruled that such language was too broad and could possibly deter employees from discussing their pay or working conditions with colleagues, i.e., “concerted activity.”

During my training sessions, I stress that the NLRB, in enforcing the NLRA, only protects “concerted activity” related to the terms or conditions of employment. This decision certainly muddies the waters which only increases the need for live training that allows audience participation.

Contact me to learn how ERS can customize affordable training options that meet your specific needs and train your staff on how best to avoid an employee claim.

Employee Misuse of Social Media on the Rise

A survey just released by Proskauer Rose LLP reveals that more that 70% of employers have had to take disciplinary action against employees for misusing social media technology, a BIG jump from the 35% of survey respondents that said the same in 2012.

Why is this worth taking notice of?  Because most of the employees disciplined probably thought that they did nothing wrong and, depending on the degree of discipline, they may call a lawyer to help figure it out.  Once a lawyer is called, all of your policies and actions to enforce them will be scrutinized and you can end up in a costly, time consuming litigation.  Indeed, most of the latest NLRB cases that I discuss in my seminars result from challenged discipline by employers who are not up to date on social media do’s and don’t’s.

The best way to keep abreast of this evolving area of the law is to conduct effective training of employees, both management and non-management. The more your employees know, the less likely a claim will result from their actions.

Contact me to learn how ERS can customize affordable training options that meet your specific needs and train your staff on how best to avoid an employee claim.

Social Media Training

According to ManpowerGroup, over 70% of employers do absolutely no training on the risks of employee use of social media. However, the number of claims brought by employees, disciplined or terminated for their use of social media, on and off the clock, is rapidly increasing. These claims cost money to defend, even if you win.

Proper training on the laws relating to use of social media, which most employees (managers included) know little about, is essential to limiting, and in most cased, avoiding, a claim.

Contact me to learn how ERS can customize affordable training options that meet your specific needs and train your staff on how best to avoid an employee claim.

Social Media Expansion

Your employees are aware of the dangers of Facebook and Twitter so you have completed your social media training, right?
WRONG!
Most college grads don’t even use Facebook anymore. And these are your new hires!!

So, if you are not familiar with Snapshot, Instagram, Vine, WhatsApp, Wickr, Secret, Ansa and others, you have more work to do — or you can allow ERS to help.

It is critical to know where you are most vulnerable before it is too late and you are defending a costly, time consuming lawsuit. Continually updating your corporate controls, including TRAINING management and staff, will not only protect confidential business information but will also reduce the risk of discrimination and harassment complaints. And, as many of you who have attended my seminars know, you also must keep an eye on the NLRB for “protected concerted activity.”

Contact me to learn how ERS can customize affordable training options that meet your specific needs and train your staff on how best to avoid an employee claim.

Social Media Training

According to a GlobalWebIndex study from Haydn Shaughnessy, “from Q2 2012 to Q3 2013 the percentage of active users among 16 – 19 year olds fell from 62% to 52% (these are active users in the sense of having contributed content), and among 20 – 24 year olds fell from 63% to 52%.”

What this means for your business is that your aging workforce comprises the largest percentage of Facebook users. Shaughnessy also reports that the “percentage of active users among the 35 – 44 year old age group rose from 47% to 53%, among 45 – 54 year olds from 43% to 49%, and among 55 – 64 year olds from 39% – 45%.”

Hopefully, by now, you have a social media policy. In 2014, make sure to conduct social media training. Consider pairing social media training with respect-in-the-workplace training to address how online behavior — even “off the clock” — can still impact the workplace.

Contact me to learn how ERS can customize affordable training options that meet your specific needs and train your staff on how best to avoid an employee claim.