Professor Susan Bisom-Rapp will be one of two featured speakers at the May 18 dinner of the San Diego Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), addressing the Challenges of Social Media in the Workplace.
“Social media, like Facebook, implicates employee speech in two important ways,” said Professor Bisom-Rapp. “First, social media facilitates speech that is expressive in that it allows employees to construct an online identity. The expressive part of employee speech is frequently dealt with under privacy law. But social media also enables speech that is associational in that it provides a forum for community building. In the US, the associational aspects of social media are being analyzed by the National Labor Relations Board under the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the rights of unionized and non-unionized workers to discuss their terms and conditions of employment. Interestingly, although a number of aspects of US labor law fall short of international standards for worker freedom of association, the Board is signaling via its social media cases that it is in the international vanguard in that it seems to be fashioning a highly protective set of rules for analyzing online employee speech and employer rules that would limit it.”