Facebook Post Firing Illegal Says Labor Board

By on Nov 11, 2010 in Internet, Technology, United States, World Comments

Connecticut – Firing someone over his Facebook post may not comply with the law, several international news websites reported today. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. (AMR) for firing one of their employees who allegedly posted negative comments about her superior.

You Are Fired
Image Credit: Trigonit.com

Dawnmarie Souza, an emergency medical technician at AMR, had allegedly called her employers with derogatory words. She was quoted sarcastically saying that she loves “how the company allows (a psychiatric patient) to become a supervisor.”

“Employees are prohibited from making disparaging, discriminatory or defamatory comments when discussing the Company or the employee’s superiors, co-workers and/or competitors.” the AMR Employee Handbook states.

However, according to Jonathan Kreisberg, a regional director of the labor board, AMR‘s rules were “unlawfully broad.”

“It was Souza‘s own page; she did this on her own time in her own home. This case is different because in this situation it happened online and the company’s rules were unlawfully broad,” Kreisberg was reported saying.

This move by NLRB to defend employees’ right to criticize employers in social media is expected to set a legal precedent. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, an international law firm, issued an advisory to its hundreds of clients worldwide as a result of this incident:

“All private sector employers should take note of this issue, regardless of whether their workforce is represented by a union. Employers should review their Internet and social media policies to determine whether they are susceptible to an allegation that the policy would ‘reasonably tend to chill employees in the exercise of their rights,'” the law firm advised.

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