Employees have a right to complain in Facebook discussions, but an employer may avoid liability if the employee is terminated.
Employees have the freedom to discuss and even complain about workplace issues and gripes. In non-union and unionized workplaces, employees are permitted to engage in protected concerted activity for the benefit of each other. Before social media, employees would typically discuss these issues together, in-person. Now, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have taken the place of the water cooler and break room.
Recently, however an administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board determined that one of these employee discussions crossed the line and was not protected activity. This ruling is good for employers. It also reiterates why employees should think twice about being Facebook friends with co-workers, and how unprofessional use of social media can doom employment relationships and lawsuits.
For a more complete analysis of this case, read my latest post titled “Employee Was Properly Facebook Fired” published as my monthly Social Media and Employment Law contribution to Maximize Social Business.