The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has announced a settlement in the case of an employee who was fired for posting negative comments about her supervisor on Facebook. The case was settled yesterday, in advance of today’s scheduled hearing.
In the case, American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., (AMR), fired one of its employees, Dawnmarie Souza, for posting a negative comment about her supervisor on Facebook.
The incident began when Souza was sent home after she refused her supervisor’s request to write up a complaint about her performance. Souza then requested union representation but was refused. After Souza went home, she posted derogatory and vulgar comments about her supervisor on Facebook. Several AMR employees commented on the post, agreeing with Souza.
When AMR learned of the Facebook post, it fired Souza for being in violation of the company’s social media policy. AMR had a social media policy that barred employees from discussing the company in any way on Facebook or other social media sites.
The NLRB issued a complaint, arguing that employees may discuss the terms and conditions of their employment under the National Labor Relations Act. Thus, the NLRB claimed that the AMR overstepped its bounds because Souza was discussing her workplace with her coworkers. The NLRB also noted that AMR’s social media policy was too broad and infringed upon employees’ protected right to discuss their employment.