Facebook F-bomb aimed at manager = protected activity, NLRB rules

Posted on 05-28-2015 by
Tags: Trending News & Topics , Labor & Employment , Employment Law

We have all had those days where someone mistreated us or is annoying the crap out of us. It stinks and what makes it worse is that sometimes we feel the best solution is to just go on a rant that includes a couple choice words and a couple F-bombs thrown in too. It’s shocking, but in some instances you might be protected from any discipline after sending a message containing an F-bomb for your boss, that is according to the NLRB.

In an article by the Social Media Employment Law Blog, they looked at a case where an employee took their frustration to Facebook. He posted the following post :

The NLRB ruled that “the employer unlawfully infringed on an employee’s right to engage in protected concerted activities based on certain social media posts.” They explained that:

an objective review of the evidence under the foregoing factors establishes that none of them weighs in favor of finding that Perez’ comments were so egregious as to take them outside the protection of the Act.”

Despite the majority ruling in the employee’s side, there was one who sided with the employer, saying:

“Even conceding a lack of evidence that Perez intended to engage in or threaten actual violence against McSweeney or his family, the posting reflects a level of animus and aggression directed toward McSweeney personally that goes well beyond the contrasting statements in the record that the employer tolerated and that are also distasteful[.] . . . We live and work in a civilized society, or at least that is our claimed aspiration. . . . Personally directed and insulting statements like Perez’ Facebook posting about McSweeney, his mother, and his family, typically cause irreparable damage to working relationships. It serves no discernible purpose for the Board to stretch beyond reason to protect beyond-the-pale behavior that happens to overlap with protected activity. It certainly does not serve the goal of labor peace.”

This issue of what is and isn’t or what should or shouldn’t be protected online is unclear to some, but for now the rules favor the employees.

What do you think of the rules regarding social media? Let us know below!

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