NLRB on social media: Facebook firing didn’t break law

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in Employment Law,Firing,Human Resources

While the law concerning acceptable employee use of social media remains uncertain, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is starting to shed more light on what conduct is acceptable under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

The NLRB has issued a decision in Karl Knauz Motors Inc.(NLRB ALJ, No. 13-CA-46452), holding that Knauz did not violate the NLRA when it terminated an employee.  

Online gripes about hot dogs …

In May 2011, the NLRB filed a complaint against Knauz BMW, a car dealership in suburban Chicago, alleging that it unlawfully fired a salesman for criticizing the dealership on Facebook.

Robert Becker posted on Facebook about two separate incidents. The first concerned a sales promotion to roll out a new luxury BMW model.

Before the event, salespeople learned the dealership was planning to serve free hot dogs and bottled water. The salespeople grumbled that such low-brow food wouldn’t drive many sales of a...(register to read more)

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David M. Adler February 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Very good analysis. It is sometimes difficult to parse the NLRB’s reasoning. The key for employers is that there was a reasonable basis for the termination that did not implicate the employee’s protected activities. The take away for employees: make sure you gripe to at least one other employee before you lampoon your employer. @adlerlaw

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