In the fall, the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint on behalf of an ambulance worker who was suspended and then fired after airing grievances about her supervisor, complete with choice words, on Facebook.
The NLRB argued the comments are protected speech under labor law. From the complaint:
This is a fairly straightforward case ... whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler, it was employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor, and they have a right to do that.
For the first time, I realized I might have to start issuing my usual "Be careful what you post on Facebook" warning with a caveat: "unless you're griping about your job with your colleagues."
The hearing on the case had been scheduled for early this week, but ABC News reported Tuesday it has been delayed until Feb. 8 so the parties can continue settlement negotiations. As employment attorney Scott Peterson pointed out in a piece at timesunion.com, employers are concerned to say the least.
Facebook = water cooler. ... The case could set a very interesting precedent.