Yesterday, the NLRB board was planning to hear a woman’s case claiming she was fired because of negative comments she made about her supervisor on Facebook. Previously, an NLRB attorney advocating for this employee had argued that the employee was protected under the First Amendment to speak out, even against her employer, on Facebook and the like. This impacts companies in a big way because many of them have social networking use policies that state an employee is not allowed to disparage the employer’s image, reputation or brand.
Now comes word that the hearing was postponed in an effort for the two sides to come to a settlement. This would be disappointing in that it would leave the issue unresolved. However, it does suggest that if employers want to avoid facing these kinds of claims, they might want to craft their policies and procedures with more nuance and caution.