In an unprecedented case, the NLRB is pushing all in over the battle on social media. And its press release today leaves little doubt where it is placing its chips — strongly in the employee’s favor.
I had heard about this case a few weeks ago through the grapevine here in the area, but today’s press release makes it official. It is an important case to follow.
According the release, the NLRB’s Hartford regional office issued a complaint on October 27 alleging that “an ambulance service illegally terminated an employee who posted negative remarks about her supervisor on her personal Facebook page. The complaint also alleges that the
company, American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., illegally denied union representation to the employee during an investigatory interview, and maintained and enforced an overly broad blogging and internet posting policy.”
It is further alleged that:
“when asked by her supervisor to prepare an investigative report concerning a customer complaint about her work, the employee requested and was denied representation fromher 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.”
So what’s the really big deal about this? Well, it’s the next part of the NLRB’s press release that should have employers and their counsel on edge: The investigation found that: