Partner Krista Cabrera was quoted in the Law360 article, “Do’s & Don’ts For Policing Workers’ Off-Duty Social Media Use,” about whether employers should address their workers’ political social media posts in the current high-stakes political environment. "It's a very fine line that employers have to walk," said Cabrera.
There are myriad factors to consider when figuring out if an employer should act, depending on the content of the post, any potential blowback on a company, and its visibility to colleagues or clients.
Businesses should also ensure that any planned corrective action doesn't run afoul of an employee's rights under federal, state and local laws, or a bargaining contract.
When a worker shares a post simply backing a political candidate or a social justice movement online, an employer should be wary of getting involved even when someone complains. "Employers have to tread really, really lightly," she said. "You don't want to in any way take action that is interfering with an employee's right to voice their political opinions."
Businesses also should carefully cross-check the content with their harassment, discrimination or social media policies, Cabrera said, noting that just because a social media post ruffled feathers in the workplace doesn't mean the poster broke any rules. "Think critically if a comment is solely political, or if it's truly violative of the company policy," she said.