Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Labor Board Rules Calling Your Boss A Nut On Facebook Is Protected Speech

In what maybe a precedent setting case, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that a worker fired because she said on Facebook that her employer had psychiatric problems should be reinstated.

"Dawnmarie Souza lost her job at a Connecticut ambulance service after starting a thread on Facebook suggesting that her supervisor was a psychiatric patient. Because Souza's co-workers chimed in—making it a "concerted protected activity"—the NLRB ruled that the conversation was guarded by a law guaranteeing employees the right to discuss their workplace conditions."

The NLRB was considered a toothless entity under Republican rule. Often doing next to nothing when employee workplace organizing and association rights were violated. The ruling could be an indication that the NLRB under the Obama administration is now willing to vigorously address valid complaints from workers when interference takes place concerning their rights to associate and organize unions to combat employer abuses or improve working conditions. The National Labor Relations Board was created during the Roosevelt Administration to administer the National Labor Relations Act that mandated protection of employee rights to organize unions and have government administered elections where employees could vote for union representation or not free from employer reprisal and retaliation. I expect that the Chamber of Commerce won't take the ruling laying down. So this may not be the end of the story.

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