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Facebook Firing Case Settles; But Another Social Media Case at the NLRB May Be Rising

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Social Media

The news came late Monday: The NLRB’s case against an employer for allegedly firing an employee due to a Facebook post had settled.  The background of that case can be found in one of my November 2010 posts.  The case name is: American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., 34-CA-12576.

The terms of the settlement were not fully disclosed and indeed, John Cotter, a deputy regional director said the terms were confidential.  But the NLRB did release a press release that provided some details:

Under the terms of the settlement approved today by Hartford Regional Director Jonathan Kreisberg, the company agreed to revise its overly-broad rules to ensure that they do not improperly restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers and others while not at work, and that they would not discipline or discharge employees for engaging in such discussions.

The company also promised that employee requests for union representation will not be denied in the future and that employees will not be threatened with discipline for requesting union representation. The allegations involving the employee’s discharge were resolved through a separate, private agreement between the employee and the company. 

So where does this leave us? Not much further along in trying to figure out where the bright lines in the area.

But don’t fear. There is another case that was just filed that may provide answers still. According to attorney Seth Borden’s blog:

On February 4, the CSEA/SEIU filed an unfair labor practice charge against a Connecticut bus company at the Regional Office for Region 34. Unlike the AMR case and other charges filed by CSEA/SEIU earlier, the charge in Case No. 34-CA-12906 contains no specific allegations that the company improperly disciplined any particular employee. Rather, this charge alleges that the employer violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act merely by "maintaining" policies in its employee handbook.

Where will this next case take us? Stay tuned.  

 

  • http://www.hrwlawyers.com Dave Wilson

    Dan, it seems as though a lot of folks are misinterpreting this settlement as allowing employees to say whatever they want on social media.
    Based on the facts it sounds like the supervisor made poor decisions which left the EE in an unfair position. Let’s see if the NLRB overreaches in the SEIU case on the social media front.

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