Employment Litigation and Social Media Posts

Social Networking Websites and Employment Litigation: Getting Fired For Posting About Your Work

Claudia Sheridan Small Business, Social Media

It’s all too easy to confuse real life with online life, especially when we’re going through life events where we seek support from friends.  Monica Needham, Attorney with Needham Law Firm, posted a very valuable reminder to anyone who may find themselves in court one day.  When I saw it, I felt that it served as a great reminder of those things that we should think twice about before posting.  I immediately contacted her and asked if I could share her post with Small Business Breakthrough’s followers.  The following was Needham Law Firm’s Facebook post on February 1, 2016:

The following was reprinted with permission from Monica Needham of Needham Law Firm

SOCIAL NETWORKING WEBSITES AND EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION: GETTING FIRED FOR POSTING ABOUT YOUR WORK

Employment Litigation and Social Media Posts

Employment Litigation

Have you posted something about your workplace on social media which resulted in termination from your job? Many people have sought the help of an employment litigation attorney for posting about their job on a social media website such as Facebook or Twitter. Depending on the post, you may still have protection under the federal labor law. The below will discuss what types of posts the law protects and which they do not.

Federal labor laws protect both union and non-union employees who participate in what is known as “concerted activity”. A concerted activity is when employees band together in an attempt to improve their working conditions and hourly pay. The National Labor Relations Board has also applied the same protections to social media posts as well. Therefore, employers are not able to fire employees for posting about work complaints with each other using social media.

It is important to understand what qualifies as concerted activity and what doesn’t. The key thing to remember is that the social media post must involve two or more employees. The post must also revolve around a legitimate complaint such as complaining about working conditions or requesting more pay.

The type of post that would not qualify as concerted activity is one created by a single employee who is posting a personal complaint. A disgruntled employee who posts negative things about their manager or boss is not likely to have protection under the federal labor law.

If you feel that your social media post discussed legitimate work complaints and involved other employees as part of the discussion, you may have protection under the federal labor law. However, if your post was more of a personal rant, it is unlikely that you will have protection under the law. In any case, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced employment lawyer who can determine your best options.

As an employee, your employer is legally obligated to follow the labor law statutes. Contact Needham Law Firm today to discuss your needs with our Santa Clarita attorneys.