NLRB: More Facebook Cases

06.05.2011
HR & Safety

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a complaint charging that a Buffalo nonprofit organization unlawfully terminated five employees after they took to Facebook to criticize working conditions, including work load and staffing issues.
The case involves an employee who, in advance of a meeting with management about working conditions, posted to her Facebook page a co-worker’s claim that employees did not do enough to help the organization’s clients. The initial post generated responses from other employees who defended their job performance and criticized working conditions. After learning of the posts, the organization discharged the five employees who participated, saying their comments constituted harassment of the employee originally mentioned in the post.
The complaint maintains that the Facebook discussion was “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act. Unless the case is settled, the complaint will be the subject of a hearing before an administrative law judge in late June.
In a similar case, the NLRB has also issued a complaint against a Chicago car dealership for unlawfully terminating an employee who posted photos and comments on Facebook that were critical of the dealership.
The employee, a car salesman, and coworkers were unhappy with the quality of food and beverages at a dealership event promoting a new car model. Sales people complained that their sales commissions could suffer as a result. Following the event, the salesman posted photos and commentary on his Facebook page critical that only hot dogs and bottled water were being offered to customers. Other employees had access to the Facebook page.
The next week, management asked the salesman to remove the posts, and he immediately complied, but was discharged nonetheless for the incident. The complaint is scheduled for a July hearing.

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