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Facebook Rants: Protected or Not?
By: Donald Berner

On a number of instances over the course of the last few years, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has tackled the issue of when to protect employee use of social media outlets in the furtherance of an employee's rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  The early learning for employers was to beware of taking action if the employee communicated workplace concerns through social media.  As the NLRB has decided social media cases, the parameters have become a bit more defined for employers.  In a recent decision involving a series of negative and disparaging types of employee commments, the NLRB found the actions not protected by the NLRA.  The learning point for employers is that if employees cross over the line with their comments, the NLRB will not protect those employees from the disciplinary consequences.  Employers should be mindful that deciding when the employees have crossed that line can be a difficult and murky task and any decision to take negative action can be risky.  To gain a better understanding of the types of social media behavior that is not protected you can click here and then select the Administrative Law Judge's Decision from November 5, 2013 to read the entire decision.

Kansas Legislative Update
By: Boyd Byers

The 2013 Kansas legislative session is now in full swing. Lawmakers have introduced several employment-related bills.

House Bill 2022 -- Expands the number and types of deductions that employers may withhold from an employee's wages, contingent on a written agreement between the parties. Also expands an employer's ability to withhold wages when an employee leaves. However, such withholding cannot reduce the employee's wages below the federal or state minimum wage law.

Senate Bill 53 / House Bill 2092 -- Specifies what social media information an employer can and cannot ask an applicant or employee to divulge.

Senate Bill 48 -- Requires that, starting January 1, 2014, all governmental units and contractors involved in a public contract of $50,000 must use e-verify for verification of employment status of all employees whose employment begin on or after January 1, 2014. Grants the Secretary of Labor authority to establish rules and regulations and impose restrictions on violations of the act.

House Bill 2105 -- Incorporates numerous amendments to the employment security law, such as revising the circumstances when an individual can be disqualified for benefits; redefining "gross misconduct" involving the use of alcohol or controlled substances; and imposing penalties for unlawfully receiving benefits.

Kansas Employment Law Blog will keep you up to date on the progress of these bills and other significant legislative developments.


Don Berner Image
Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
Boyd Byers Image
Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
Jason Lacey Image
Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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