Employers "advise" you not to post on Facebook

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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default Employers "advise" you not to post on Facebook

  • Can your employer tell you what you can and cannot post on Facebook?
  • Does your employer have the right to ask you the names of your friends on Facebook?
  • Can your employer ask you who you chatted with and what you said in a private chat on Facebook?

About six weeks ago I had an issue at work that resulted in my being suspended for a week with no pay. That is put to bed , done and over with. This morning however I was asked by the Director of Servives exactly what I posted on my Facebook page and who I chatted with in private while this was all going on. I work with the Developmentally Disabled so we have Agency guidelines that I strictly adhere too. I was "ADVISED" today , not to post work related conversation on my Facebook Wall? Is that legal? My employer can now dictate what I am able to do and say in my free time off the clock? Posting here first. All responses more than welcome and FYI will be printed out. I used to joke and say we don't live in a democracy , this is a dictatorship. I am wondering ........... is it? Can your employer intimidate you legally?
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Employers "advise" you not to post on Facebook

I wish to inform you that your employer can restrict your work related information on your Facebook Wall. In this you may write anything on wall which does not affect your employer confidentiality. In this the communication in office may be regarded as confidential or alternatively disclosure of business information may affect privacy of your employer and thus he may restrict office information on your Facebook Wall.

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Old Sep 27th, 2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Employers "advise" you not to post on Facebook

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has brought unfair labor practice charges against several employers which have fired non-union workers for criticizing workplace conditions in their Facebook postings.

Within the last year, the General Counsel’s Office (“GC”) for the NLRB has brought at least three unfair labor practices charges (“ULP”) against employers which have fired workers for posting unflattering comments about their supervisors and/or work conditions on Facebook. The NLRB has maintained that Facebook postings related to workplace conditions are protected “concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) because such discussions involve conversations amongst co-workers concerning their terms and conditions of employment.

In the first case, the GC filed a ULP last fall against American Medical Response, a Connecticut ambulance company, which fired a medical technician who posted unflattering comments about her boss. Upset at a particular assignment, the technician posted from her home computer on her personal Facebook page, “Love how the company allows a 17 to be a supervisor,” referring to a code for a psychiatric patient. She later referred to her supervisor as a “scumbag as usual.” Her co-workers responded with favorable comments to her post.

Soon thereafter, American Medical Response terminated the technician for purported performance deficiencies. Nonetheless, in the ULP the GC charged American Medical with violating the employees’ exercise of their rights under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Section 7 allows non-union workers as well as union employees to engage in “protected concerted activities,” i.e., activities involving two or more workers acting together to improve working conditions. The ULP maintained that her comments regarding the supervisor constituted protected concerted or group communication under Section 7 relating to work conditions. On February 7, less than four month after the filing ULP, American Medical settled on terms favorable to the employee and the GC, agreeing to, inter alia, no longer discipline employees for discussing wages, hours and workplace conditions.

In 2011, the GC has commenced two other ULPs challenging similar discharges by employers. In the case against Hispanics United of Buffalo, the non-profit agency terminated five workers who criticized work load and staffing issues in postings on Facebook. The CG brought a ULP against Hispanics United on May 9. Within weeks, the non-profit “threw in the towel” and settled with the five workers and the GC on terms comparable to the American Medical settlement.

On May 24, the CG filed a ULP against Karl Knauz BMW, a car dealership in suburban Chicago. The dealership had terminated an employee who posted criticism on Facebook of the bargain priced hot dogs and bottled water the dealership served at a promotional event for a new model BMW. This salesman and several commented online that the low brow eats would deleteriously affect the promotion and correspondingly their sales. As of August 10, 2011, this case reportedly remains pending.

Employees and employers should learn the following lessons from the above-described trend: All workers, irrespective of whether they are unionized or not, have the right under federal law to discuss work conditions amongst themselves. If two or more employees engage in such discussion via Facebook or other electronic means, said communication is likely protected under Section 7 of the NLRA. Non-union workers will also likely increasingly petition the NLRB for relief if their employers subject them to discipline or discharge for electronic postings or other communication regarding their working conditions.
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Old Sep 28th, 2011, 10:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Employers "advise" you not to post on Facebook

Quote:
Originally Posted by 56jroyk View Post
  • Can your employer tell you what you can and cannot post on Facebook?
  • Does your employer have the right to ask you the names of your friends on Facebook?
  • Can your employer ask you who you chatted with and what you said in a private chat on Facebook?

About six weeks ago I had an issue at work that resulted in my being suspended for a week with no pay. That is put to bed , done and over with. This morning however I was asked by the Director of Servives exactly what I posted on my Facebook page and who I chatted with in private while this was all going on. I work with the Developmentally Disabled so we have Agency guidelines that I strictly adhere too. I was "ADVISED" today , not to post work related conversation on my Facebook Wall? Is that legal? My employer can now dictate what I am able to do and say in my free time off the clock? Posting here first. All responses more than welcome and FYI will be printed out. I used to joke and say we don't live in a democracy , this is a dictatorship. I am wondering ........... is it? Can your employer intimidate you legally?
Without creating a novel for a response that you'll likely get too bored and annoyed to read to the end, your job description - by nature - is of a delicate nature. While it should not have to be expressed to you that confidentiality is essential, apparently it need be mentioned.

You should not be discussing anything that happens at work with pals. Even psychiatrists, doctors, nurses and attorneys don't discuss their work with pals, family or even their own spouse.

Your employer did not "intimidate" you, nor did they infer you were required to work for them should you disagree with their "dictatorship". They advised you in the most tactful way that you can either conduct yourself with a modicum of professional decorum or you don't have to work for them.

Frankly, I'd be inclined to react the same way as your employer. I'd have gone a bit farther, however, and fired you for such reckless indiscretion. If you want to gossip, pick up the phone and conduct a PRIVATE conversation so that nobody else can see or hear it.

Social networking websites like Facebook have really changed society and not necessarily for the better. We are becoming more and more a huge kindergarten classroom and blaming employers while failing to look at our own bad behavior.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #5
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"Without creating a novel for a response that you'll likely get too bored and annoyed to read to the end"...

Well, actually, if you HAD read the last post to the end, you would find that it IS illegal for your employer to tell you what to post so long as you are discussing the problem with another employee.
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Old Jul 30th, 2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Employers "advise" you not to post on Facebook

It is legal for your employer to dislike your posting, then fire you for unspecified reasons.
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