The NLRB issued another social-media decision last week, finding that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) with respect to one “Facebook firing” but clearing the employer with respect to a second termination. I’ll leave it to my blogging cohorts to write about the termination that didn’t get the employer into trouble and will focus in today’s post just the one that did.
The Facebook firing that landed the employer, a Maryland ambulance company, in hot water was in response to an employee’s comment, posted on a former co-worker’s Facebook page. The former co-worker, the complainant’s partner, posted on her Facebook page a note indicating that she’d been fired by the employer. The complainant, William Norvell, and others, posted comments in response. One of Norvell’s comments was a suggestion that his former co-worker get a lawyer and take the company to court. Later, he added that she also “could contact the labor board.” Someone turned over a printed copy of the posts to the HR Director who, after consulting with the COO, decided to terminate Norvell.
I hope it doesn’t surprise most readers that the Board was not happy about the decision to terminate and found that the termination violated the NLRA. One of the basic foundations of employment law is this: