Balancing Labor Law and Client Confidentiality in the Social Media Age

By: Kimberly Shely It is common knowledge that lawyers have a professional duty to reasonably ensure their employees abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs). This ethical duty includes training their employees on how to maintain client confidences. Lawyers need to address proper social media etiquette with their nonlawyer employees to ensure that they understand that “confidential client information” cannot be discussed or shared on their personal social media platforms. However, lawyers must balance these ethical obligations with employees’ legal rights under labor laws. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) provides employees protection in engaging in concerted activity to better their working environment, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has extended this to include social media posts. Lawyers can balance protecting client confidences with their employees’ rights under the NLRA. Lawyer’s Duties Under the ABA…