On Friday, at my firm’s annual Labor & Employment Law seminar, I’ll be talking about the NLRB and Employee Handbooks with my colleague, Chris Engler. Among the topics we had planned to discuss was the ongoing Triple Play Sports Bar & Grille case that I had previously posted about here and here.
So of course yesterday, the Second Circuit released an long-awaited decision on that very case. And it’s a strikeout for the employer.
The case involves a mix of old and new concepts. Old: Employees have the right to improve the terms and conditions of their workplace — so called “Section 7” rights to protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act, even if they are not “unionized”. New: It applies to Facebook and other types of social media.
And now, even to Facebook “likes”.
In the case, Jillian Sanzone and Vincent Spinella, two employees of Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, located in Watertown, discovered that they owed more in State income taxes than they had originally expected. One of the employees discussed this issue with co-workers, and complaints were made to the employer.
The discussion continued on Facebook, and a former employee, Jamie LaFrance, posted the following “status update” to her Facebook page: “Maybe someone should do the owners of Triple Play a favor and buy it from them. They can’t even do the tax paperwork correctly!!! Now I OWE money . . . W[*]f!!!!”