NLRB Upholds Facebook Firing
The law surrounding the legality of “Facebook firings” continues to evolve. Recently, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its first ruling on a social media-related firing case. It adopted an administrative law judge’s decision that it was lawful for a car dealership to fire an employee solely because of a particular set of comments he posted on Facebook about an accident at one of the employer’s dealerships.
The employer believed the comments were damaging to the reputation of the company and the people involved in the accident. The NLRB upheld the judge’s decision that the comments were not protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
At the same time, the NLRB declined to address the judge’s finding that the NLRA did protect a second set of comments the employee made on Facebook — this time about the company’s serving hot dogs at a sales event —.because the comments were about events that could have affected the employee’s sales commission.
In the same case, the NLRB agreed with the judge’s finding that the company violated the NLRA with a rule about courtesy in its employee handbook:
Courtesy: Courtesy is the responsibility of every employee. Everyone is expected to be courteous, polite and friendly to our customers, vendors and suppliers, as well as to their fellow employees. No one should be disrespectful or use profanity or any other language which injures the image or reputation of the Dealership.
The NLRB found that the language was too broad and that employees could construe it as prohibiting protected activities, such as talking about their problems with their working conditions and seeking the support of others to improve them.
WeComply’s 25-minute online course in Responsible Social Media Use helps employees navigate this sometimes tricky area.Categories: General Business Compliance
Tags: Social Media Compliance