Second Circuit Sides with Former Employee Over Vulgar Facebook Post About Boss
A server at a catering company posted a profanity-laced tirade on Facebook after receiving what he perceived as harsh instructions from his boss. The post concluded with a plea to vote for the union. Although the post was removed days later, the employee was fired after an investigation. He brought the matter up with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB found the employer had committed an unfair labor practice in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by terminating the employee based on his union-related social media comments. The Second Circuit affirmed the decision finding the NLRB's conclusion that employee's social media comments were not so egregious as to exceed the NLRA's protection was supported by substantial evidence. The court did note the comments were "at the outer-bounds of protected, union-related comments" but in the context of the impending union elections the off-color speech was still protected.