Employers commonly insert a “savings clause” at the beginning or end of their social media policy. Such a clause states that no rule in the policy is intended to prohibit protected activity. For example: “This policy is not to be interpreted so as to interfere with employee rights to self-organize, form, join, or to engage in other concerted activities.”
The National Labor Relations Board routinely determines that these general savings clauses are insufficient to cure ambiguities and overbroad rules in the employer’s social media policies. On the other hand, employers are encouraged to use limiting language within specific work rules to avoid any ambiguity of whether a particular rule would interfere with employees’ right to engage in protected and concerted activities. Although savings clauses have been found to be inadequate to cure overly broad and vague work rules and policies, it remains a best practice to include such clauses, as it will not do any harm to include the clause.
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