Social media can get you into a lot of trouble these days – especially
where the workplace and social media intersect. You may think that you
have the freedom of speech to say what you want when you want to say it
on whatever medium you wish, but it might not come without some sort of
retaliation from your employer.
In 2011, after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complained against
an ambulance company who fired a driver that spoke negatively about her
bosses on Facebook, employees across the nation realized that
being a part of a union wasn’t necessary to contest retaliation for
badmouthing their employers. After this, the NLRB got so many inquiries about the rules involving
social media that they put together a “Report Concerning Social Media Cases.”
Here are some examples of social media cases in the past:
Not Supported by the NLRB: An Arizona Sun reporter was fired for his social activity on his Twitter
account. He not only tweeted about how bad his copyeditors were, he also
posted insensitive statements about homicides in the area. He was warned
after the former and fired after the latter. Because there was no concerted
activity between him and other coworkers, the NLRB sided with the employer.
Supported by the NLRB: Two employees began a conversation on their Facebook profiles about their
employer’s tax withholding policies. One of the employees made an
obscene remark about owing back taxes. The employees were promptly fired
for their statements and lack of loyalty. The NLRB sided with the employees
in this case, because they were having a conversation that brought up
valid criticisms about their employer.
Common theme here? If you’re going to complain about work or your
boss, make it a concerted effort – preferably with valid criticisms.
Your employer does not have that much control over what you say on social
media. If you have experienced
workplace retaliation or
wrongful termination due to your social media activity, you could benefit from getting legal
help and exploring the details of your situation.
Have you gotten in trouble for posting something about your boss or a coworker
online? You may be protected. Contact Alan Burton Newman, PLC
for more information about your case.
Read more about the free speech rights of employees in the