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News & Events


NLRB Protects Many Employee Facebook Postings

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Lane Powell Shareholder Mike Reilly authored an article in Puget Sound Business Journal‘s November 11 issue titled “NLRB Protects Many Employee Facebook Postings.” In the article, Reilly discussed strategies for how employers can deal with the new National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) initiative.

The employee Facebook chatter started after work.

One employee asked co-workers — who happened to be Facebook friends — what they thought about a manager’s criticism of their work. Lively banter filled with obscenities followed. They even openly posted comments on Facebook about “difficult” customers.

When management learned about the Facebook discussion, all five commenting employees were fired. The decision to fire these nonunion employees was pretty easy, the employer thought.

But then the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) got involved.

The NLRB filed a complaint against the company, contending the employees were wrongfully discharged in retaliation for engaging in “protected concerted activity.” The complaint was based upon the National Labor Relations Act, which makes it illegal to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of “the right to engage in other concerted activity for the purpose of … mutual aid or protection.”

Read the full article (PDF).

This article first appeared in Puget Sound Business Journal.