Employers firing employees for the content of their social media posts continue to do so at their own risk. An NLRB decision from last week provides a good reminder of this important point.
An ambulance company, in two unrelated events, fired two employees for what they posted to Facebook. The first employee, in response to a post from a recently-terminated employee, told the employee that he was “sorry to hear” that she had been fired and that she “may think about getting a lawyer and taking [the employer] to court.” He also suggested that she could “contact the labor board too.” Others, including other employees, commented on the terminated employee’s post.
A few months later, the second employee posted a profanity-laden comment to his Facebook page about, among other things, being “broke down” and stating that “they don’t wanta buy new s***!!!!” The employee used all capital letters for emphasis in his post, but eschewed the asterisks I use in mine. Two people clicked “like” and two people commented, but there was no evidence about who these people were. The employer interpreted the post as an accusation that its ambulance was broken down and investigated its maintenance records. It found that the ambulance the employee was driving was not, in fact, broken down and terminated the employee for violating its social media policy. Continue Reading