Category Archives: Social Media/Networking

Using social media content for screening in recruitment and selection: pros and cons

Source: Debora Jeske, Kenneth S Shultz, Work Employment & Society, Published online before print November 20, 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The article considers the arguments that have been made in defence of social media screening as well as issues that arise and may effectively erode the reliability and utility of such data for employers. First, the authors consider existing legal frameworks and guidelines that are present in the UK and the USA, as well as the subsequent ethical concerns that arise when employers access and use social networking content for employment purposes. Second, several arguments in favour of the use of social networking content are made, each of which is considered from several angles, including concerns about impression management, bias and discrimination, data protection and security. Ultimately, the current state of knowledge does not provide a definite answer as to whether information from social networks is helpful in recruitment and selection.

Words Mean Everything: The National Labor Relations Act and Employer Social Media Policies

Source: Jon D. Bible, Labor Law Journal, Vol. 66 no. 3, Fall 2015
(subscription required)

…To protect their brand, employers have long regulated what employees can say and do and courts have largely given them free rein to do so. Like most employees, moreover, these two worked at-will and thus could be fired for any reason not based on a protected class or in violation of an exception to the at-will doctrine. What the owners overlooked was the fact that the National Labor Relations Act [NLRA or Act] applies to non-union employers like Triple Play; in this respect, they had a lot of company, for many employers are unaware of this. Since it got involved in this area a few years ago, moreover, the National Labor Relations Board [NLRB or Board] has aggressively enforced the right of employees to use social media to discuss, and try to change, their working conditions. Had they known all of this, the owners might have considered whether the Facebook colloquy in which the two employees engaged was protected by the Act, so that discharging them was illegal….

Organizing Low-Wage Workers and Low-Income Communities–Digital Tools & Tactics

Source: Social Movement Technologies, 2014

From the summary:
The top 9 digital tools & tactics that unions and other organizing groups are using to combine online and offline organizing in low-income/low-wage communities. Online isn’t just a communications tool, it can also be a way to further your organizing campaigns.

Developing online worker centered strategies utilizing online tools is an opportunity to connect with low-wage workers and communities. However it’s important to ensure your strategy works in coordination with your offline organizing. A number of unions and community organizations have worked to develop thoughtful approaches using online tools.
This webinar recording provides:
– specifics on how to identify the online tools those you are organizing use so you can reach them
– text messaging strategies to reach workers and residents in low-income communities
– Facebook strategies that go beyond posting to your page or promoting your posts
– examples of online strategies that can reach similar goals as offline but with far fewer resources
– suggestions for how to ID workers and residents online

We will share specific experiences from ongoing campaigns such as Walmart and fast food. A document with all the notes and links from slides is also provided.
Top 14 digital tools
Source: Social Movement Technologies, 2013

Notes & links
Is your labor or community organizing campaign using today’s most powerful tools to win? Whether you are a complete digital novice, or advanced, make sure you aren’t missing out on key digital tools and tactics, hear what other organizers are doing to win, and learn how to do it with limited time and money. …. This is part of a series of digital organizing webinars—developed by organizers for organizers, especially focused on meeting the needs of unions and small social change groups, many without the resources to hire full-time digital organizing staff. The webinar covers a range of key tools and tactics, including for example, how to quickly identify your most social media-influential members and what to do with them, how to identify your targets’ soft social media spots and build your strategy around them, and exciting ways to use twitter and free and low-cost texting to expand visibility and pressure targets. Movement examples are used throughout.

Labor Law Issues: Employer Social Media Policies; Disciplining Employees for Social Media Postings

Source: Ariana R. Levinson, University of Louisville – Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series No. 2015-17, June 8, 2015

From the abstract:
This chapter addresses the increasingly important issue of how the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act) applies to postings by employees on social media. It argues that in large part the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has correctly applied the age-old concept of protected concerted activity to new technological meeting places. The legal concepts at issue are founded in long-standing precedent. This chapter buttresses the claim that Board regulation of social media policies is consistent with past-practice and precedent by analogy to Board precedent governing employer policies on solicitation and distribution and on the wearing of insignia, which are similar to the social media policies currently being regulated. Despite differences in the use of an electronic meeting place from that of the water cooler, slight changes to the current doctrine, such as a clear explanation of when employees’ activity is for mutual aid and protection, would place the Board on even sounder footing.

The Digital CultureSHIFT: From Scale to Power – How the Internet is Shaping Social Change, and Social Change is Shaping the Internet

Source: Center for Media Justice, and Data & Society, August 2015

From the summary:

As activism for police accountability, fair wages, just immigration, and more takes center stage — social justice movements of the 21st century are using technology to achieve greater scale and reach wider audiences. But are these digital strategies building power for long-term social change, or helping maintain the status quo?

A new report from the Center for Media Justice says the answer depends on the strategy — and offers new approaches and recommendations, from a diverse cross-section of leaders, for building effective social movements in an age of big data and digital technology.

Key Takeaways:
The strategies and approaches in the Digital CultureSHIFT report provide a path forward for addressing the way social movements integrate new approaches , or remain stuck in a cycle that limits our effectiveness.

What We Learned:
• 100% of those interviewed said that digital strategies and platforms provide a voice when mainstream media ignores issues.
• The vast majority of leaders interviewed widely use digital platforms to catalyze action, but say over-reliance on these tools can limit relationship-building.
• The Internet is helping to shift national organizations from centralized to decentralized, from geographically specific to geographically diverse, and from hierarchical leadership to multi-level leadership.
• Targeted surveillance is a top concern — but the vast majority of leaders of color interviewed felt that advocacy for digital privacy did not include their voices or their visions for change.

Employers Ban Personal Webmail to Protect Against Cyber Attacks

Source: Maureen Minehan, Employment Alert, Vol. 32 no. 16, August 7, 2015
(subscription required)

Mayer Brown. Latham & Watkins, and WilmerHale. What do these three law firms have in common? They have all recently restricted employee access to Web-based personal e-mail on their systems. As reported by Above The Law, a Web site that shares news and opinions on the legal industry, the trio are just the latest employers to tell employees they can no longer access their Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and other Web-based e-mail accounts from company computers. …. Employees inadvertently expose their employers to security attacks when they click on infected links or files sent to them through e-mail from unverified sources, despite warnings about the dangers. ….

Status Update: Social Media and Local Government Human Resource Practices

Source: Shannon Howle Tufts, Willow S. Jacobson, and Mattie Sue Stevens, Review of Public Personnel Administration, Vol. 35 no. 2, June 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Social media use has quickly become an integral part of people’s personal and professional lives. Although many scholars highlight the benefits of social media for engagement, communication, and outreach, leveraging social media platforms for human resource (HR) practices continues to present interesting questions and challenges. This article examines how municipal and county governments are using social media in recruiting, hiring, monitoring, and disciplining employees. Many local governments are not taking advantage of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media as potential tools for recruitment and screening because of concerns related to liability. The same organizations are conducting workplace monitoring and addressing disciplinary issues around employee social media use, often without guiding policies in place. Based on the findings from this research, recommendations are provided on how and when local government HR departments can more effectively use social media in their practices.

Worker Collective Action in the Digital Age

Source: Jeffrey M. Hirsch, University of North Carolina School of Law, UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2551117, December 25, 2014

From the abstract:
This article explores some of the ways in which employees have used electronic communications to seek better working conditions and argues that this medium will continue to grow in importance. However, several factors currently exist that limit the effectiveness of electronic collective action. In addition to natural limitations on workers’ ability to use electronic media and the effectiveness of those communications, this paper discusses the legal protections that might help to reduce employer resistance to digital collective action. This issue illustrates the Catch-22 of electronic communications: as digital collective action strategies become more accessible and useful, they also become more of a target for employers seeking to thwart employee attempts to improve their working conditions. As described in the article, the legal protections for workplace electronic communications has been in a state of flux. There have been some recent legal gains for employees’ ability to use electronic communications (including the NLRB’s new Purple Communications decision, which is discussed in detail), but those protections still fall short in some areas. As workers’ use of electronic communications becomes more widespread and more effective, the need for legal protection will grow. Yet, pressure from employers to resist an increasingly effective tool for employees will grow as well. How this tension ultimately develops will depend on the ability of legislators, regulators, and judges to balance these competing interests.

How to Email Congress and Make It Count

Source: Chris Nehls, CQ Roll Call, 2014
(subscription required)

…The sheer volume of electronic communications that most offices receive mean that congressional staff place a priority on efficiently sorting and prioritizing incoming messages. How much email does Congress get? The Senate received almost 143 million communiqués through Oct. 21 of this year, and the House received roughly the same amount through September, according to officials in both chambers. In the Senate, that’s more than eight emails for every one incoming phone call. But despite the volume, it is still possible to initiate two-way email dialog with Congressional offices, by understanding how they process communications and using a few techniques to insure you are taken seriously. While staffers rarely speak publicly about how email is parsed and addressed inside the Congress, CQ Roll Call spoke privately to sources, including those still working on Capitol Hill and former staffers, in order to compile some strategies that can help insure that your email—and your message—has a fighting chance. ….