Unraveling the Legal Tapestry: Employee Social Media Use Demystified

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Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives but poses risks for both employers and workers alike. This article explores some of these issues.

1. Privacy Concerns

One of the primary legal issues in employee social media use is privacy. Employees have a right to privacy, but the lines can blur when personal and professional lives intertwine on social platforms. Employers must tread carefully when monitoring employees’ social media activities, as invading their privacy can lead to legal consequences.

2. Discrimination and Harassment

Social media can become a breeding ground for discrimination and harassment issues. Inappropriate comments or discriminatory behavior on social platforms can lead to a hostile work environment. Employers need to enforce anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies consistently across both traditional and online workplace settings. Regular training programs can help employees understand the boundaries of acceptable behavior and prevent legal issues from arising.

3. Defamation

Employees’ online activities can sometimes lead to defamation claims. To address this, employers should include social media guidelines that bar their employees from making defamatory statements using any work-related social media platform.

4. Intellectual Property Concerns

Employees might inadvertently disclose sensitive company information or intellectual property on social media platforms. To help combat this, employers should think about presenting non-disclosure agreements to their employees. These agreements should provide clear guidelines on what can and cannot be shared online and with third parties.

5. National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Compliance

The National Labor Relations Act—signed into law in 1935!— protects employees’ rights to, among other things, engage in discussions about workplace conditions—including on social media. Employers must be cautious not to infringe upon these rights even online.


The prevalence of social media in the workplace introduces various legal challenges that employers must address proactively. By implementing clear policies, providing comprehensive training, and respecting employees’ rights, organizations can navigate the complexities of employee social media use while minimizing legal risks.

If you need assistance creating a policy for your business social media use, please contact us at info@mnklawyers.com.

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.