Employer Complaints on Facebook Can Get You Fired
In a previous entry we discussed how complaints about the workplace on social media sites can be considered “concerted activity” and therefore protected speech under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). However, depending on the circumstances, posting your employer complaints on Facebook can get you fired. In a recent case out of California, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that complaints made on Facebook were not enough to save the jobs of employees who also threatened to engage in insubordination. See http://www.nlrb.gov/case/20-CA-091748. In Richmond District Neighborhood Center, a unanimous three member panel of the NLRB found the employee threats of insubordination were outside the scope of protected conduct under the NLRA. The General Counsel argued on behalf of the employees that they had no history of insubordination and that the comments couldn’t reasonably be interpreted as seriously proposing insubordination. The comments, however, made by the employees were lengthy and detailed and therefore, the NLRB found that they could not be disregarded as simply jokes. In addition, the crude and profane nature of the communication, it was argued, could jeopardize the funding the Employer regularly received from outside sources. Therefore, the comments were not protected and the employer’s decision to revoke an offer of employment was not illegal.