You’re filling out your new hire paperwork and come across a document labeled Corporate Social Media Policy. Social media policies, every brand has one if they have a presence on social media. ​Chipotle did not reply to a request for comment. They are guidelines for employees to follow on social media both during work and after work. If it had gone the other way, it would be impossible to stop any employee from posting any complaints in public. Chipotle unsuccessfully argued that the social media policy at issue was outdated, and that a new policy went into effect on January 1, 2014. For example, Norma Rae climbs up on the factory table and holds up a sign saying employees are legally entitled to a longer lunch break. Chipotle violated the NLRA when the area manager asked Kennedy to delete his tweets, the ALJ ruled. They have a singular visual identity and extend similar branding across networks. That is until this week, when an administrative judge ruled that Chipotle’s social media policy actually violated federal labor laws in the Pennsylvania civil suit: James Kennedy v.Chipotle. He raised his voice at the restaurant manager (who testified before the ALJ that she felt intimidated). Chipotle Mexican Grill is known for its saucy tweets, but a post from Tuesday caused a stir with some social media users. Submissions must be published as “public posts” to be eligible to enter. Old Chipotle Social Media Policy Was Unlawfully Vague 8.26.16 The article, “Old Chipotle Social Media Policy Was Unlawfully Vague,” featured in SHRM , discussed why employers must carefully word social media policies so they aren't unlawfully vague and must ensure that employees are receiving the most up-to-date social media policies, in light of a recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision. Please log in as a SHRM member. Employers don't have to ignore anything posted on social media, Wilson said. ALJ Susan A. Flynn first opined that Chipotle’s social media policy is unlawful, specifically two lines: “If you aren’t careful and don’t use your head, your online activity can also damage Chipotle or spread incomplete, confidential, or inaccurate information” and “You may not make disparaging, false, misleading, harassing or discriminatory statements about or relating to Chipotle, our employees, … But if an employee complains about issues regarding wages, benefits or other working conditions (even while using profane language), the current board would likely view that conduct as protected, he added. The potential winners will be notified by a comment posted on the Entry by David Dobrik and asked to contact @Chipotle via TikTok direct message using the social media account information used by the entrant to enter the Contest. The potential winners will be subject to verification and compliance with these Official Rules. So, if an employee disparages the quality of the employer's product or service without relating it to any matter protected by the NLRA, that conduct likely is not protected and may result in discipline, Garrison explained. This case is Chipotle Services LLC, 04-CA-147314. You won’t use the company logo on your social accounts and you won’t disclose any confidential company information on social. Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark. Social media is also a quick way for you to connect with friends and share information and personal opinions. Posted by pedwyer in Uncategorized ≈ 1 Comment. When you’re not on company time, you can feel free to talk about anything else that you want on social – but always be courteous and not too opinionated because people who see your posts will figure out that you work for us and your bad behavior will affect our company reputation. Members may download one copy of our sample forms and templates for your personal use within your organization. Chipotle’s social media doesn’t sound like a 4.5 billion USD revenue burrito chain; it sounds like your best friend. Let’s start with an excerpt from the policy: Chipotle’s social media team is solely responsible for the company’s social media activity. The social media policy given to Kennedy was out of date, but it was the one that the national social media strategist provided to the area Chipotle manager. Chipotle’s Social Media Strategy Analysis Purpose Social Media will be used to provide a more human interaction with our customers to enhance customer loyalty and brand awareness. Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks. "But employers must understand that the legality of disciplining employees for conduct viewed as 'bad-mouthing' depends on the nature of the employee's particular conduct," he said. You alone are personally responsible for your online activity. A large part of the case against Chipotle, was their response to a series of uncomplimentary Tweets by an employee. Venables Bell & Partners will take on advertising duties, and MullenLowe Mediahub was selected for media planning and buying. . Former Chipotle employee James Kennedy has gotten the last laugh, or rather, the last tweet, in a case against his former employer. While Chipotle's current social media policy is lawful, the old version was not and that was the version distributed to Kennedy, the ALJ noted. Can your employer stop you from saying what you want on social? Well, according to social data available through Brandwatch’s Unlimited Historical Data, a trend line of social conversations dating back to May 2014 shows a steady decline in social media mentions of the burrito giant over time. He was not seeking a pay raise for himself, or requesting that he be excused from work when it snows heavily," the ALJ said. Not sure where to start your learning journey? Members can get help with HR questions via phone, chat or email. While reviewing employee Tweets, Chipotle's national social media strategist on Jan. 28, 2015, saw tweets posted by James Kennedy on working conditions for Chipotle employees in its Havertown, Pa., restaurant. Use of an Old Social Media Policy Is New Chipotle Gaffe, Biden Plans to Ban Noncompete, No-Poaching Clauses, The Password Is Slowly Becoming Extinct, but It’s Not Obsolete Yet, Biden Seeks to Strengthen Registered Apprenticeship Program, Modernize Workforce Training. HAVERTOWN, Pa. (AP) - An administrative judge found Chipotle's social media policy violated federal labor laws while ruling in favor of a Philadelphia … Chipotle Mexican Grill is the first major restaurant brand to market itself on TikTok—a relatively new social media platform that’s popular with Gen Z—and the chain is reaping high user engagement numbers from its efforts.. TikTok, which started in China in 2017 and became the most downloaded app in the U.S. about a year ago, allows users to create and share short videos. By signing, you promise that you won’t post any disparaging comments about your new employer on Twitter or Facebook. We will promote healthy and organic food available at our various locations and encourage customer feedback on all social media networking sites in order to improve the quality of our menu offering and attention … DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 19, 2017-- Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) announced that it has selected two new agency partners. Their fanbase seems to primarily consist of single women in their twenties according to Facebook demographic data. The National Labor Board said, nope. While Chipotle's current social media policy is lawful, the old version was not and that was the version distributed to Kennedy, the ALJ noted. By contrast, the prohibitions against harassing or discriminatory statements do not violate the act, the judge found. The ALJ struck down the following provisions in the old policy: The prohibition against disclosing confidential information is problematic: "The undefined word 'confidential' is vague and subject to interpretation, which could easily lead employees to construe it as restricting their Section 7 rights" to protected concerted activity, the ALJ said. Chipotle does this very well by signing all of its social media posts. That is until this week, when an administrative judge ruled that Chipotle’s social media policy actually violated federal labor laws in the Pennsylvania civil suit: James Kennedy v.Chipotle. Overall Social Media Activity. Chipotle was also ordered to rehire Kennedy — who now holds a union job with American Airlines — and pay him lost wages. . } Chipotle’s social media activity on these platforms is once again underpinned by the brand ethos of getting customers to think about where their food comes from. Since the new social media policy was never provided to Kennedy and Kennedy’s supervisors relied upon outdated policy, the NLRB adopted the ALJ’s finding that Chipotle still technically maintained the old policy. In the end, the Labor Relations Board ordered Chipotle to rewrite their social media policy to comply with all of the Board suggestions. It seems lately that Chipotle just can’t get a break. After being asked to delete the tweets, the employee began to collect fellow employees’ signatures on a petition to demand that they be allowed to take their breaks as allowed by Chipotle’s company policy. The manager cited an "outdated" company policy that says employees cannot post "disparaging" comments about Chipotle on social media. No substitutions or new versions of Submissions will be accepted once the original Submission is submitted for consideration. }); if($('.container-footer').length > 1){ . While Chipotle's current social media policy is lawful, the old version was not and that was the version distributed to Kennedy, the ALJ noted. Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks. The rulings ultimately may be subject to challenge in federal appeals courts, he noted. Why? ", "If you aren't careful and don't use your head, your online activity can also, damage Chipotle or spread incomplete, confidential, or inaccurate information. While Chipotle’s social media policy strictly banned employees from posting false and disparaging content on social media, the judge stated that the content has to be proven to have a malicious intent; in this case, the judge decided it was not malicious in nature. An administrative judge ruled in favor of Philadelphia-area worker James Kennedy, stating that Chipotle’s social media policy violated federal labor laws. Workers do not have to use the words "union" or "unionize" to be protected, though often they do when unions are involved to improve the likelihood of success for an unfair labor practice charge, said Jim Gray of Jim Gray Consultants in Charleston, S.C. , which consults on union-organizing exposure. The Chipotle social media policy at issue states, “If you aren’t careful and don’t use your head, your online activity can also damage Chipotle or spread … Find your peers in SHRM's online community. Chipotle's outdated policy banned workers from using their private social media sites to "post incomplete, confidential or inaccurate information about their … And if you’re complaining about unfair working conditions, that would be “disparaging” but again it’s under the board’s protection. Yes and no, no, and mostly no. Chipotle noticed the tweets and asked the employee to take them down, because Chipotle said the tweets violated the social media policy the employee had agreed to upon being hired. For the purpose of this discussion, we’re only going to talk about the NLR Board rulings in regard to social. You may not make disparaging, false, misleading, harassing or discriminatory statements about or relating to Chipotle, our employees, suppliers, customers, competition, or investors. The National Labor Relations Board just came down hard on Chipotle (who has to be having one of the worst years ever) in a case involving employee Tweets and the company’s social media policy. The ALJ ruled that Kennedy's tweets concerned wages and working conditions, which the NLRA protects. Litigate the charge, but understand you may have to refuse to comply with a board order to reinstate someone and appeal that decision. Chipotle’s Social Media is meant to promote the brand itself and while we strive to be active, the utmost importance is to protect the company’s reputation, value and integrity. That includes discipline up to and including termination," Wilson said. All it takes is a quick read in order to get the gist. That line of text won’t save you. And the implicit suggestion not to post anything that would constitute protected concerted activity in the future was unlawful, according to the judge. A “concerted” act is when one person acts on behalf of a group for the benefit of that group. Chipotle's dive into fledgling social media app TikTok has generated hundreds of millions of views, appealing strongly to younger consumers. These old versions may come back to bite, as Chipotle discovered in recent litigation. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. Nevertheless, many employers have adjusted their policies to comply with the rulings. The Board decided that the Tweets were not in the best interest of all the workers, they were just the disgruntled complaints of a single person. The company, which has a few different people or “voices” for their social media platforms all sign their names at … The NLR Board says that this policy, as written, is unlawful and cannot be enforced. $('.container-footer').first().hide(); The campaign also includes an unusual social media component: a second Instagram account that consists only of posts for each of the 51 ingredients used in Chipotle’s meals. Social media posts must be public to enter the Contest. An NLRB administrative law judge (ALJ) ordered the Chipotle restaurant chain on March 14 to rehire an employee who was fired two weeks after posting complaints about snow day policies on Twitter and immediately after distributing a petition on required breaks. Crew members only make $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?". Positive promotion of Chipotle is encouraged, but we should never say false or misleading information on social media. Allen Smith, J.D., is the manager of workplace law content for SHRM. rom work when it snows heavily," the ALJ said. Posted on March 22, 2016. An administrative judge ruled in favor of Kennedy, and found Chipotle’s social media policy violated federal labor laws, reports The Associated Press. Chipotle on Broadway and 6th. She fired him for insubordination, and Kennedy sued under the NLRA. The Chipotle social media policy at issue states, “If you aren’t careful and don’t use your head, your online activity can also damage Chipotle or spread incomplete, confidential, or inaccurate information. You may not speak or write on Chipotle’s behalf. nly to Kennedy. When the company’s national social media strategist discovered the tweets, the employee was quickly reminded that he was forbidden to disclose confidential information about the company according to the social media policy in Chipotle’s Employee Handbook. This is an expensive proposition for a smaller company.". Have you factored customer reparation costs into your operating expenses. We’re here to help! A judge ruled in his favor and stated that Chipotle’s social media policy violated labor laws and ordered the restaurant chain to post signs explaining that these policies, as well as some others, were illegal. "Receiving low hourly wages and being required to report to work despite heavy snow are issues common to many of Chipotle's hourly workers nationwide, nd certainly to those at the Havertown restaurant. Being a member on the social media content team, your social media work in regards to Chipotle must first be … You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark. In January 2015, James Kennedy was working at a Havertown, PA Chipotle when he posted a reply on Twitter to a free food offer. Rough. Even under the board decisions, employers still may monitor employee tweets, just not take action on social media postings that are protected concerted activity. Need help with a specific HR issue like coronavirus or FLSA? She also ordered the company to post signs in their restaurants stating that the company’s social media is illegal. Join hundreds of workplace leaders in Washington, D.C. and virtually March 22-24, 2021. Two managers—an area manager and the restaurant manager—met with Kennedy on Jan. 29, 2015, handed him Chipotle's social media policy and asked him to remove the tweets. 19 Saturday Mar 2016. You may not speak or write on Chipotle’s behalf. The chain has also tested cauliflower rice this year at select locations. now this is starting to sound a little oppressive. Submissions must be received by the end of the Submission Period. When the case went to court, the original Administrative Law Judge said Chipotle had no right to demand the deletion because the Tweets were a “concerted” act and thereby protected. We offer online reputation management, repair, and monitoring services. $("span.current-site").html("SHRM MENA "); And terminating Kennedy for circulating the petition violated the law. The board's social media rulings are a "wild expansion" of protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), said Phillip Wilson, president and general counsel with the Labor Relations Institute, a labor relations consulting firm in Broken Arrow, Okla. statements about or relating to Chipotle, our employees, suppliers, customers. . A Chipotle employee was caught posting several complaints on social media about the company’s wages and snow day policy. ", "You may not make disparaging, false, misleading, harassing or discriminator. Follow him @SHRMlegaleditor. A Chipotle employee was caught posting several complaints on social media about the company’s wages and snow day policy.