Workers unlawfully fired for Facebook comments: Judge

In what the National Labor Relations Board’s calling the first ruling of its kind, an NLRB administrative law judge has found a Buffalo nonprofit organization unlawfully discharged five employees for posting comments on Facebook.
The case involves an employee of Hispanics United of Buffalo, which provides social services to low-income clients.
After hearing a co-worker criticize other employees for not doing enough to help the organization’s clients, the employee posted those allegations to her Facebook page.
The initial post generated responses from other employees who defended their job performance and criticized working conditions, including work load and staffing issues.
Hispanics United later discharged the five employees who participated, claiming that their comments constituted harassment of the employee originally mentioned in the post.
First non-union Facebook decision
Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan found that the employees’ Facebook discussion was “protected concerted activity” because it involved a conversation among co-workers about terms and conditions of their employment.
The ALJ ordered that the organization reinstate the five employees and awarded them back pay.
Amchan’s ruling was the first involving the use of social media in a non-union workplace. The decision can be appealed to the NLRB in Washington, D.C.
To read the full ruling, go here.