EBG Commentary

David Garland Quoted in “When Political Talk on Social Media Becomes a Workplace Issue”

Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report

David W. Garland, a Member of the Firm and Chair of the firm’s National Labor and Employment Steering Committee, in the firm’s New York and Newark offices, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “When Political Talk on Social Media Becomes a Workplace Issue,” by Madison Alder. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

It’s no secret that during the 2016 campaign, political candidates harnessed the power of social media more than ever before, David Garland, partner at Epstein Becker Green and chair of the law firm’s National Labor and Employment Steering Committee, told Bloomberg BNA July 18. Garland said he hasn’t seen a significant increase in cases about political discussion on social media in the workplace, but he suspects “we could see more of them.”

It depends on how employees express their thoughts on social media, Garland said. For example, if an employee endorses President Donald Trump’s travel ban on social media, the question might be: “Is he or she making comments expressly or by way of inference that could be perceived as anti-Muslim, and what is the impact of those comments in the workplace?”

If comments violate the company’s policy on harassment, that would be cause for the employer to take action, Garland said.

“The candidate that was elected used social media—particularly Twitter and Facebook—as his primary means of communicating with his potential voters and base and continues to do so,” Garland said of Trump. As a consequence, many people have turned to the platforms as source for political news, he said. …

“It might not be an overstatement to say the country is more divided than ever before,” Garland said. “People have not been reluctant or hesitant to share their political views on social media.”