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Mama Don’t Take My Kodachrome Away; NLRB Agrees

Posted in Highlight, Labor Law & NRLB, Social Media

Kodachrome

You give us those nice bright colors

You give us the greens of summers

Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!

I got a Nikon camera

I love to take a photograph

So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

Paul Simon, “Kodachrome”

A few months back, I was one of the first to highlight the perils of a new video sharing service, Vine, in the workplace.  And then a month ago, I predicted that the NLRB was likely to jump in on the issue of photo and video sharing.

Little did we all know how soon that time would come.

As Jon Hyman, of the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, highlighted:

It appears that Dan’s prediction was right on the money. Last week, the NLRB’s Office of General Counsel published an Advice Memorandum [pdf] (dated March 21, 2012, but, for reasons unknown, which sat unpublished for 16 months).

Among other issues, the memo took up the following prohibition in a supermarket chain’s social media policy:

Do not use any … photographs or video of the Company’s premises, processes, operations, or products, which includes confidential information owned by the Company, unless you have received the Company’s prior written approval.

According to the NLRB Office of G.C., that policy is, on its face, an overly restrictive ban on employees’ rights to engage in protected concerted activity.

As so, the idea that an employer can “take away” the employees’ photographs and videos — taken digitally, even on a Nikon camera — is now up for dispute.  This isn’t the last word on the issue so I would expect to see more news on this front in the not too distant future.

Until then, enjoy the greens of summer and this Paul Simon song.

 

  • The Kielich Law Firm

    If the social media policymaking is any indication, the NLRB will start with a very broad policy against the employer’s policies and then pair it down to something more balanced.