Facebook Firings and Social Media Policies – What to Do? – Part 1

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Surely you can fire someone who mouths off on Facebook about the company, right?  After all, most employees (in Texas, anyway) are at will employees.  You may even have a social media policy that warns employees not to say disparaging things about the company online.  Unfortunately, it is not that clear.

The National Labor Relations Labor Board issued a memorandum that outlines recent cases gving some guidelines about what you should do.  

You may be thinking the NLRB only applies to unions and we don’t have unionized employees, so what do I care?  You would be mistaken.  The National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal to restrict, prohibit, or retailiate against employees for engaging in “protected activities” such as commenting on working conditions, or organizing collective action against an employer regardless of whether a union is involved.  It is also illegal to institute a work rule or policy that would “tend to chill employees” in the exercise of their rights.

That’s where social media policies and Facebook come into play.  You may have read about some of these cases going both ways in the past, including this blog post from 2010 on whether to change your social media policy.  In part one today, we will focus on whether you can fire someone.  In part two, we will talk about the social media policy. 

Please see full article below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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