Employees May Be Prohibited From Linking to Company Website on Personal Blogs

By Fiona W. Ong - Shawe Rosenthal LLP

August 30, 2020

The National Labor Relations Board held that a company’s policy prohibiting employees from linking to the company’s website on their personal blogs was lawful under the National Labor Relations Act.

In Shamrock Foods Company, an administrative law judge found that the company’s policy “effectively discouraged” employees from communicating with each other and the company about their work-related concerns and disputes. On review, the Board disagreed, finding that the company had a legitimate interest in maintaining its brand identity, integrity and reputation while minimizing legal risks. The Board stated, “Linking a blog to the [company’s] website could create the impression that Shamrock is associated with the blog in some way, possibly that it endorses or at least does not dispute the contents of the blog.” The Board found that employees would not view the policy as an infringement of their rights under the Act, but as “simply discouraging employees from giving the impression that the employee was speaking on behalf of the [company] or making statements that might be interpreted as coming from or endorsed by the [company].”

This decision continues the Board’s trend under the Trump administration of approving common-sense employment policies.

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