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Attorney Talks About Limitations Of Free Speech On Social Media

By Melony Roy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Can what you say and do on social media be used against you by the boss? It’s a developing area of the law.

“Employees certainly have the ability to go onto Facebook and complain to their friends about what they like or don’t like about work,” says Catherine Barbieri, a partner at Fox Rothschild.

“But where they run into problems typically is if they’re making comments harassing some other coworker in violation of a non harassment policy or if those communications share some sort of trade secret information from the company.”

The National Labor Relations Board says workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, even on social media.

“I typically would advise employers not to have a specific restriction on employee ability to engage in social media activities about their wages”

In New Jersey, it is now illegal for employers to ask either applicants or current employees for their user name and passwords for their social media accounts.


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