The previous post began to discuss the increasing problems involving the intersection of social media and the workplace. An interesting article by Jeanette Borzo recently published by The Wall Street Journal examines some of the specific cases involving employers, employees and social media. As more employment law cases involving social media make their way through the courts, case law will begin to be established around the issues.
According to the WSJ, this week the National Labor Relations Board will hear its first complaint involving social media. The case involves a former employee of a medical-transportation company who claims she was wrongfully terminated for posting complaints about her boss on Facebook.
Federal law protects the rights of employees to discuss working conditions between themselves in an effort to improve those conditions, which is called “concerted activity.” The company actually has an employee policy regarding the use of social media, and maintains that the employee violated that policy by inappropriately badmouthing her boss online.
The employer says that the employee’s online criticisms did not amount to concerted activity. The employer also maintains that the employee was fired for multiple behavior issues and incidents.
Those knowledgeable in the field of employment law say these cases will only continue to multiply, at least until more case law is established.
Employers Tread a Minefield (The Wall Street Journal)