In my search for an article containing lawsuits involving employee posts on social media networks, I was quite surprised to learn how much of problem this has become. According to Melanie Trottman (2011) of the Wall Street Journal, employees that have been severely disciplined or terminated due to their activities on social media websites have been retaliating by use of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. This law provides employees that work in private-sectors the right to voice their opinion in regards to employment conditions, such as pay and safety.
The National Labor Relations Board is the organization that has the final say when determining whether or not an employee has a valid complaint. If the employee’s complaint is found to be valid the NLRB will file a civil complaint against the employer on behalf of the employee. In these cases the complaint is then heard by a NLRB judge who suggests a solution to the employee’s complaint.
One lawsuit Trottman provided that caught my interest involved a paramedic from Connecticut that was fired for calling her employer a “scumbag” on her home computer’s Facebook page. As stated by Trottman this was the NLRB’s “first ever involving a firing related to social media” (Trottman, 2011). The findings of the NLRB were that the employee was wrongfully terminated, because the employee made the comment to other employees about the actions of their supervisor. It was also deemed “protected concerted activity” by the NLRB, because the supervisor had provoked the comments by denying union representation during a meeting involving a customer complaint in regards to the complaining paramedic.
I have to agree with the findings of the NLRB in the case I mentioned above. Normally, I would never justify calling my employer names in any situation, and I would try to resolve the situation in a more appropriate manner. However, in this...