Many of you follow Gordon Law on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or other social media platforms. For that I am extraordinarily grateful. Do you follow your employees social media? If you do, you should be aware of laws that affect your business in so doing. For a general overview of anti social media employment discrimination laws you can click here.
Federal laws administered by the EEOC (such as age discrimination; Americas with Disability; and likely soon laws concerning sexual orientation and gender identification) will prohibit you from taking discriminatory actions against employees in relation to their social media posts. Thus, if you learn through social media that one of your employees is facing certain health challenges and you alter the status of that employee, you may be subject to liability for discrimination.
Under Nevada law, an employer may not:
(a) Directly or indirectly, require, request, suggest or cause any employee or prospective employee to disclose the user name, password or any other information that provides access to his or her personal social media account.
(b) Discharge, discipline, discriminate against in any manner or deny employment or promotion to, or threaten to take any such action against any employee or employee who refuses, declines or fails to disclose the user name, password or any other information that provides access to his or her personal social media account.
How should you, as an employer, address the challenges associated with social media. As always, make sure you understand and are compliant with all laws that affect you and your business including anti social media employment discrimination laws. Beyond that, your business, regardless of how many employees you have, should have a social media policy. That policy should address whether, if at all, an employee is permitted to post matters concerning your business to social media. Your policy should be consistent with any confidentiality policy you may have.
As 2019 comes to a close, Gordon Law urges you to review all of your employee policies to ensure they are compliant with current laws along with the laws that will take effect on January 1, 2020.