The NLRB recently held that the termination of an employee because of disparaging comments she posted about the employer in a group message on Facebook did not violate the NLRA. The comments contained derogatory language and expletives, and included “FIRE ME” and “Make my day”.
The NLRB held that the comments reflected the employee’s personal contempt for her co-worker and her supervisor and not shared employee concerns about terms and conditions of employment. Therefore, the employee did not engage in concerted activity under Section 7 of the NLRA.
Before taking action against an employee because of comments on social media, employers need to consider several factors. These include, but are not limited to, the following: What is the content of the message? Are the comments based on the terms and conditions of employment? Is the employee acting alone or with or on the authority of other employees? Is there a legitimate problem at work that needs to be addressed?