Take care when drafting your healthcare organization's social media policy. An overly strict approach to what your employees can or can't post online can get you in trouble, as one ambulance company learned recently.
Under the terms of a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board, American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., agreed to tighten its overly inclusive rules in its blogging and Internet posting policy to ensure that they do not improperly restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers and others while not at work. They also had to promise not to discipline or discharge employees for engaging in those conversations, and to not deny employees union representation in the future.
The case behind the settlement involved an ambulance service employee who was laid off after posting negative comments about a supervisor on her Facebook page. According to the NLRB complaint, the discharge violated federal labor law, because the employee was involved in a protected activity when she posted comments about her supervisor and responded to co-workers' comments.
To learn more:
- read the NLRB press release
- here's the settlement (.pdf)