An NLRB Administrative Law Judge, following the lead of the NLRB and its recent decision in Costco Wholesale Inc., invalidated the social media and other employment policies of EchoStar Corp. The policies deemed improper prohibtted employees, in part, from disparaging a company on social media sites. The ALJ agreed with the NLRB General Counsel's argument that a generic clause in the employee handbook that employees were free to exercise their rights under the National Labor Relations Act was insufficient to bring the rules within compliance with the Act.

Given the Board's decision in Costco and the General Counsel's campaign against such policies, we expect more decisions at both the ALJ and the Board level invalidating employment policies limiting employee speech, regardless of the forum.