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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38759
Experience:  I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
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Dear ladies and gentlemen, we are medium sized US company,

Customer Question

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

we are medium sized US company, conducting business in the State of New York, in New York City. Now we want to implement a social media policy. As our company is on Facebook and Twitter, we want to regulate the behavior of our employees regarding Facebook and Twitter, e.g. time they spend during working hours on facebook, twitter, posts, etc.
Well, what we are now most interested in for implementing such a policy, is:

1. which state laws and other legal regulations exactly we have to obey??
2. where exactly in the internet we find these regulations?

Kind regards
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

If I may ask, do your employees all work out of New York, or do you have other locations that are not within New York state? I ask because privacy regulations are based on state law generally where the employee is located unless you create your regulations different;y, so I wish to know what to potentially research for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they all work in new York City
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your follow-up, Frank.

Ultimately any social media policy, so long as it is clearly defined, is based on your own rules and regulations within the company. There are no rules and regulations that control or bind private business. A private company is free to create their own limitations, place their own reasonable restrictions, and use social media as a monitoring tool for their employees. What you can do is utilize the New York State policy as a potential template for your own business. Here is the link below:

http://www.its.ny.gov/policy/NYS-P11-001.pdf

But please be aware that this would be solely a template and one that governs state agencies. You yourself are free to set whatever regulations you deem fit. Social media is public speech so in theory you can review and monitor it because it is open to the general public for review.

Good luck.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38759
Experience: I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 7 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you! But i thought it must be in accordance with state las nd the national Labor relations Board
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Frank,

You are most welcome!

The National Labor Relations Board has put out memorandums with suggestions on what is acceptable and what is not pertaining to social media. However the choice of which policies to use or not use is still up to you. You can find their policy listings below:

http://www.nlrb.gov/reports-guidance/policies

The state, likewise, may have their own limitations based on privacy concerns and that is why I linked you to their own template so that you can base your own policy on theirs, something that currently is governed under state law.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks so much!! Only that i can review, which state laws exactly we have to obey? Paragraphs? Is there a Source?online?
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome!

As you are located in NYS, you have to be bound by NYS laws and federal laws. In your social media policy you can also clarify and state that all parties agree to be bound by laws of New York in cases of clarification or conflict. But again, there are no laws that govern, merely suggestions. The NLRB puts out suggestions, NOT laws when it comes to policies.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok thank you!! Last question- can you name these laws??
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Frank,

I apologize if I am being unclear. There are no laws, merely suggestions. Social media policies may hinge on a variety of factors including state privacy requirements, party recording rights, and state precedent via case law. This is a very subjective part of regulatory authority and much simply comes down to how cases are ruled upon across the country.

Good uck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok nd the suggestions are Set by the national labour relations Board? Nd what about new York labour law??
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Frank,

New York labor law has no guidelines in place for social media (I checked which is the reason for my delay). On a Federal level the regulations are set forth by the NLRB. Just please be advised that the NLRB generally governs unions and not the truly private sector. So if you have no union employees, the NLRB generally has no basis to get involved. Instead you would be reviewed by the Dept of Labor.

Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much Gentleman! But what for me stays unclear, for example, if I want to terminate a working contract because of facebook consumption during working hours, this termination is not valid due to the courts?? so there are rules, which I have to obey?


 


best

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Frank,

If you make it clear in your own employment handbook that facebook use is forbidden during working hours, then you could use that as grounds to terminate. You as the employer can set forth your own reasonable rules and so long as those rules are clearly communicated or provided to your employees, the employees would be bound by those conditions. That is really all you need to do to have a viable social media policy, create the rules you wish for your employees to follow, review to see if they are overly intrusive, and then post them for your employees to review and be aware of.

Hope that helps!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I got it!! Thank you very much. So that is the situation in New York State..but of course it can vary from State to State, right?? Thanks..for answering this very last question now. Take care

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Frank,

Different states may have differing measures of what policy is permitted and what is not. But where it usually has conflict primarily is if the policy is not known, and secondarily if it is too intrusive. Some states, for example, found that individuals who meet during lunch to discuss potential concerns with the company, and private email each other about those concerns, are not violating any rules, while in other states parties who take their grievances to social media to discuss what is taking place at work have been found to have been properly terminated for it. It is al a matter of degree and how well you have clarified what is permitted and what isn't via your communication to your employees.

Hope that helps!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
gentleman, but ny state has e.g. Bills amented to the labour law, which prohibit employers to request facebook passwords from employees--?! So there are state rules? Best frank
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

That is correct, such rules exist. That is because facebook was found to be private (akin to private property) to which the company has no rights. That, however, is not a 'social media policy' and more of an unauthorized taking on part of the company, who can issues rules about what social media can or cannot be used while at work, or even to some extent outside of work provided the posts relate to the company, but they cannot control or obtain private records or passwords from their employees.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Gentleman!!!! So these are the only "legal binding" regulations, we HAVE to obey regarding our policy??!! So we cannot fix, that employees have to provide passwords, but all the rest we can regulate independently, but clearly.?


 


all the best and have a good evening


 


Frank

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Frank,

Those are not the only regulations, but they do not exist in one location. There is potential case law that may put forth additional requirements but because it is not a law or regulation, other than researching it, it is sometimes tough to find. Generally the policy has to be based on common sense to survive--you as a company cannot intrude on what is generally someone else's right but you can limit behavior while the person is working for your directly. For example in your policy you can block the ability for the employees to go on Facebook, but you cannot block that ability when they are not working for you.

Hope that clarifies.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Dear Sir or Madam,


 


We are contacting you on behalf of one of our clients, a German entity.


 


We have the following question:


 


Our client intends to start a service project in California State. Therefore he needs service technicians from Germany.


The employees will operate within the scope of a service agreement between the client and an affiliated entity in the US.


 


The following services will be conducted by the German service technicians:


 



  1. Safety Check of Automated Guided Vehicles ( Vehicles, which operate the logistics in harbor terminals, e.g. freight transporting)

  2. Execution and monitoring of site endurance tests of the vehicles

  3. Identify and classify defects and deficiencies

  4. Repair of damages, exchange of damaged parts

  5. Commissioning of the vehicles, upload of software programs, changing of parameters

  6. Train technical staff of Service Representative (eventually also customer’s staff)

  7. Observe and fill out acceptance documents for 3rd party deliveries and services


 


Our client now has the following questions:



- do the service technicians or our client need a license/permit for conducting the above mentionedservices?



- in case that they need a license/permit, doe they need one for each single technician?




- Are there any labor union regulations that our client has to watch out for?


 


 


Your answer in that matter is much appreciated!


 


Best regards


 

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Frank,

I appreciate you contacting me and I would be most happy to assist you. As this is a brand new question I would ask that you post it separately and then I would be more than happy to reply. Please make sure to title it 'For Dimitry" and I would then be happy to answer. Or I can answer in this thread but please be aware as this is a new question, upon a satisfactory answer I would ask that you provide an additional rating so I could again be compensated for my assistance. Please advise on which option is easier. Thank you!

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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney at Law
2741 Satisfied Customers
I provide employment and discrimination law advice in my own practice.