Posts Tagged ‘NLRB’

More NLRB Facebook News

May 27, 2011

Yesterday I posted about how Jessica Braverman is doubtful about the NLRB’s aggressive stance regarding private employers ability to fire workers for what they say about the workplace on Facebook.  She is particularly doubtful about how this will play out in California.  So far, she has been right as the latest complaint the NLRB filed concerned a BMW dealership and their sales team in Chicago.

But Are Private Employers Treated Differently than those with Union Workers?

It doesn’t look like it as these employees were commissioned sales professionals.  The more interesting question to me is where the line is in terms of disparaging your employer versus discussing working terms and conditions.  For example, if employees go to Facebook and complain about personal aspects of their boss – that he is fat or ugly or never laughs, that probably won’t qualify as discussing working terms and conditions but the worker add that he never smiles or says anything nice, that could be creating a hostile working environment.  This seems like a slippery slope and what if the intent of the workers is clearly to complain but they include issues that impact the workplace – is that enough to trigger Section 7?

NLRB Takes on Employer re: Facebook Firing

May 20, 2011

True to their word, the NLRB is taking on another employer over the termination of five employees because they went to Facebook to discuss work load and staffing issues.  The employer, Hispanics United, is a nonprofit serving low income individuals and families.  An administrative judge is set to hear the case on June 22, 2011.

If you are interested in learning more about the issues a company faces handling social media issues, there will be a program on May 25, 2011 at noon where Jessica Braverman and myself will be discussing these issues at the Alameda County Bar Association Headquarters in Oakland.

Link to NLRB press release

NLRB Keeps Social Media Front & Center

May 6, 2011

The NLRB continues to push employers to make it clear to employees that they will not face termination because they have posted comments on Facebook etc. about the terms and conditions of their employment.

In a case involving and a former employee, the NRLB as part of the settlement required the employer to post a 60 day notice about employees not getting terminated for discussing workplace terms and conditions on social media websites.

Even more interesting, the NLRB has made social networking issues a priority for cases in the future.

Possible Settlement in NLRB Facebook Case

January 26, 2011

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.

NLRB Social Media Policy Implications

December 11, 2010

Here is a good article on how companies should approach their social networking policies in light of the free speech implications of impending NLRB ruling on what employees can say about their employer.

I’ve posted about this before but what I like about this article is how it suggests drafting specific examples giving employees guidelines of what’s appropriate and what’s not.  Not only are these policies likely to be more enforceable but they will also help employees have a clearer idea of what’s expected of them as well.

NLRB to Rule on Employee Social Media Rights

November 21, 2010

Earlier this month I posted about the NLRB advocating on behalf of an employee who chose to rant about his employer on Facebook.  It looks like an NLRB administrative judge will make a ruling as to whether the company has the right under its social networking policies to restrict an employees right to talk about the workplace online.

This article points out the central issue in the case as it applies to social networking policies.  Obviously, employees have the right to rant amongst themselves in person about their employer.  But does an employee have the right to rant on Facebook about their employer where its possible for all the world to see?  Does the First Amendment protect workers in a such a case?  And even if it does protect their rights, is an employee undermining their own best interests by doing so?

Stay tuned – the NLRB judge will be hearing the case on January 25, 2011.