NLRB Poised To Rule On Facebook Case

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On October 27, the National Labor Relations Board's General Counsel (GC) made national headlines with the issuance of an unfair labor practice complaint against American Medical Response Of Connecticut (AMR) accusing the company of unlawfully discharging an employee for posting critical remarks about her supervisor on her personal Facebook page. The GC's complaint also alleged that AMR maintained unlawful employment policies regulating employee blogging and Internet postings, prohibiting employee conduct of a "generally offensive nature" and on-premises employee solicitation and distribution.

According to the GC's Complaint, AMR representatives denied Dawnmarie Souza's request for union representation at an investigatory interview, required her to complete an incident report without the presence of a union representative and then threatened her with discipline because she had requested union representation. Later that same day, after she had left work, Souza logged onto her Facebook page and posted highly critical comments about her supervisor.

Co-workers who visited Souza's Facebook page responded with comments in which they expressed their support and agreement with her. Although the GC's Complaint is conveniently silent on the actual text of Souza's posting, reports say that it contained a number of insulting and personally offensive comments about her boss. AMR maintains that Souza's Facebook posting played no role in her termination and that it discharged her because of patient complaints.

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