Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Jul 01, 2013

“Fire me” wish is granted, and is okay under NLRA

Labor Relations 

An employee’s expletive-laden expressions of contempt for her employer on a private Facebook forum with current and former coworkers wasn’t protected concerted activity, according to the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel.

An employee’s expletive-laden expressions of contempt for her employer on a private Facebook forum with current and former coworkers wasn’t protected concerted activity, according to the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel. The employee didn’t try to encourage her coworkers to take any group action, and she wasn’t verbalizing mutual concerns over wages, hours, or working conditions, either of which could have been protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Instead, she expressed her opinion that her employer was full of baloney (that’s the polite term for it), remarked that the employer seemed to be staying away from her because she didn’t bite her tongue anymore, and ended with, “FIRE ME . . . Make my day….” One of her coworkers later showed the message to the employer, who decided to grant her wish. The employee filed a complaint with the Board, but the General Counsel said it should be dismissed (Tasker Healthcare Group, dba Skinsmart Dermatology, NLRB Advice Memo, May 8, 2013).

Tips: Although this employee’s Facebook rant wasn’t protected, other employees’ online complaints through social media have been, when they discussed wages, hours, or working conditions with coworkers that went beyond their own personal concerns. Before terminating an employee for an offensive online post, contact your Vigilant staff representative. You may also wish to review our “Social Networking Policy” (6310).

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