Legal Alert: Ford & Harrison Lawyers Obtain NLRB Judge's Order Upholding Termination for Offensive Facebook Posts

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A NLRB administrative law judge has ruled that a Chicago-area luxury car dealership did not violate federal labor law when it terminated a salesman who posted pictures and caustic comments about an accident on his Facebook page. The judge rejected the NLRB's argument that the termination was motivated by other Facebook postings by the employee related to a customer driving event.

Robert Becker was a salesman for Knauz BMW. In June 2010, Knauz BMW was preparing for its BMW Ultimate Drive Event, including the launch of the redesigned BMW 5-Series. At a pre-Event meeting, the sales manager infomed the sales force that the dealership was bringing out a hot dog cart in case customers got hungry. At least two salespeople, including Becker, griped that the dealership should offer better food for the Event. During the Event, Becker took pictures of the hot dog cart and posted them on his Facebook page along with some sarcastic comments a few days later. Knauz BMW is located in an autopark next to Knauz Land Rover. A few days after the BMW Event, there was an accident at the Land Rover dealership. Apparently, a customer's son hit the accelerator during a demo, and the vehicle rolled down an embankment into a shallow pond.

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