“This is a fairly straightforward case under the National Labor Relations Act — whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler, it was employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor, and they have a right to do that.”
"This is the first complaint we've issued over comments on Facebook, but I have no doubt that we'll be seeing more. We have to develop policies as we go in this fast-changing environment."
“You’re allowed to talk about your supervisor with your co-workers. You’re allowed to communicate the concerns and criticisms you have. The only difference in this case is she did it on Facebook and did it on her own time and her own computer.”
When asked by her supervisor to prepare an investigative report concerning a customer complaint about her work, the employee requested and was denied representation from her union, Teamsters Local 443. Later that day from her home computer, the employee posted a negative remark about the supervisor on her personal Facebook page, which drew supportive responses from her co-workers, and led to further negative comments about the supervisor from the employee. The employee was suspended and later terminated for her Facebook postings and because such postings violated the company’s internet policies. An NLRB investigation found that the employee’s Facebook postings constituted protected concerted activity, and that the company’s blogging and internet posting policy contained unlawful provisions, including one that prohibited employees from making disparaging remarks when discussing the company or supervisors and another that prohibited employees from depicting the company in any way over the internet without company permission. Such provisions constitute interference with employees in the exercise of their right to engage in protected concerted activity.
“The employee in question was discharged based on multiple, serious complaints about her behavior. The employee was also held accountable for negative personal attacks against a co-worker posted publicly on Facebook. The company believes that the offensive statements made against the co-workers were not concerted activity protected under federal law.”
I hope they hammer the ever living out of American Medical Response until they almost go out of biz. An example has to be made that this type of action is wrong for companies to engage in and a little pittle pattle verdict against the company won't do that. If they get slammed badly though, other companies will take notice.
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I hope that they follow the letter of the law. No more or less will do. Sounds as if she's out of there even if she wins this case considering the company's statement concerning her:
"The employee in question was discharged based on multiple, serious complaints about her behavior"
They'll show up with a shopping list of badness that will fire her anyway. At the most, this will change how they word it when they fire the next employee for the same reason.
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.
I remember a case like this but the supervisor sued a woman and won for deformation of character just for talking about him on FB.
A lot of employers now want you to sign your life and rights away when it comes to the internet. I had heard once that the first amendment does not apply to the work place.
With the economy the way it is, this woman should have kept quiet on FB and went to the union right after she was denied representation. Maybe this case might give some power back to employees if she wins, and I hope it does.
This is just gonna be one more piece of paper you have to sign when you get a job.
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