Legal Alert: NLRB Claims Firing Employee Over Facebook Post is Illegal


While it's not surprising that companies want to prohibit employees from using their social media sites to disparage the employer or disclose confidential business information, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claims overly broad social networking policies violate federal labor law. The Board recently filed an unfair labor practice complaint against an ambulance service, claiming the company discharged an employee for making disparaging comments about her supervisor on her Facebook page, in violation of her right to engage in protected concerted activity. The Board also claims the company's social media policy is overly broad and interferes with the employees' right to engage in protected concerted activity. See In re American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., Case No. 34-CA-12576 (filed October 27, 2010).

In this case, the employee was asked to prepare a response to a customer's complaint about her work. The Board claims the employee was unhappy because the company refused her request to have a union representative help her prepare the response. Later, the employee posted negative comments about her supervisor on her Facebook page from her home computer. Co-workers who viewed her page posted comments supporting the employee and criticizing the supervisor.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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