by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt
Social Media: Is the Boss a Bleep?
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) forced a settlement on American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc. after AMR fired an employee (and Teamsters member) who went home from work and profanely blasted her supervisor as being mentally ill on Facebook. Other employees posted responses supporting the employee.
The law protects the free discussion of working terms and conditions, and concerted activity, even in a crude and lewd manner in a public Internet space.
AMR agreed to loosen its Internet policies and a confidential settlement was reached with the former employee.
Since the employee posted from her home computer the issue of social media use on the job was not addressed, but it is another thorny problem.
In reviewing more than a dozen news reports, various attorneys had weighed in on the impacts of this ruling . It is likely we will need more cases to get a better definition of the boundaries, and there is no indication the ruling contradicts various laws protecting patient and customer privacy, intellectual property or prohibiting the dissemination of insider information. No indication how this might mesh with slander and defamation laws.
The NLRB announced the results of its settlement – on its Facebook page – of course.