Nathan Salminen

Latest Articles

The Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Pickering v. Board of Education allows governmental employers, including law enforcement agencies, to fire or discipline employees for disrupting operations with excessive complaining, but it prohibits governmental employers from firing or disciplining an employee for speaking out on matters of public concern as a private citizen if the employee’s interest in speaking outweighs the agency’s interest in maintaining efficiency. While the line between disruptively complaining and responsibly speaking out…
Two recent U.S. appellate court decisions have clarified the extent to which the First Amendment protects the social media activities of government employees.  In Gresham v. City of Atlanta, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found that an individual’s First Amendment interest in posting to Facebook is reduced when he or she configures such post to be private, while in Bland v. Roberts, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held…
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently reached an $800,000 settlement with the data broker Spokeo, Inc. (“Spokeo”).  The FTC’s complaint alleged violations not normally seen together:  First, that Spokeo distributed personal information for background checks by employers in ways that failed to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and, second, that Spokeo’s employees posted Spokeo product endorsements without revealing their connection to the company, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act
With the issuance of its third guidance document on workplace social media policies in the past year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to refine its position on how to craft workplace social media policies that are consistent with the terms of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Section 7 of the NLRA provides employees with the right to engage in “concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or…