A settlement was reached last week between the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and American Medical Response of Connecticut concerning a complaint filed by NLRB after the company fired an employee. The employee was discharged as a result of negative comments she posted about her supervisor on her Facebook page. The initial NLRB complaint targeted improper restrictions on employee discussion of working conditions, wages and hours online without fear of discharge or discipline. In other words, employees cannot be prohibited from participating in protected concerted activity. The company at issue in that case had a very broad policy that prohibited employees from making comments on their own time, away from work about work or the company.
While the NLRB did not issue on order, the complaint and subsequent settlement make it clear that employers should review their social media use policies to ensure they are not running afoul of the National Labor Relations Act, or their own state laws by prohibiting protected, concerted union activity.