NLRB says it's A-ok to badmouth your boss on Facebook
All it takes is one anti-work Facebook post in the wrong hands to find yourself in your boss’ office on Monday morning with the door closed.
Well disgruntled employees, you are in for a pleasant surprise because the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) deemed communications between coworkers on Facebook about the workplace is protected by law.
Meaning, you can’t technically get fired.
According to labor laws, employees are protected from being fired when chit chatting about a horrible boss in the workplace. Monday’s announcement reiterated that the protection extends to Facebook, where employees have a tendency to talk.
The decision was made after a medical transportation company was accused of illegally firing an employee after she badmouthed her boss on Facebook.
The complaint, filed in Connecticut last year, was prompted when American Medical Response denied union membership to a former employee, Dawnmarie Souza. Souza took to Facebook, badmouthing her boss to the point of being fired.
The appeal forced American Medical Response to revise its company policy towards digital communications and the company promised not to deny employee request for union representation as a result of blog posts or updates on social networking sites.
“We had the law on our side and I think the company realized that ultimately they had to spend a lot of money to fight this and would have lost,” said Jonathan Kreisberg, the regional director of the NLRB’s Hartford office. "Most employers realize it’s a lot cheaper and easier to resolve (the case) and move on."
Although American Medical Response claims it fired Souza based on her behavior on the job, not because of her Facebook posts, she still received a settlement in the case.
So go ahead disgruntled employees, go ahead and post about your boss’ toupee, or talk about her tendency to have lipstick on her teeth. You have the law on your side.