NLRB Steps In Again over Firing for Facebook Posts

May 23, 2011 ( - The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a complaint in the firing of five employees who complained on Facebook about working conditions at a nonprofit that provides social services to low-income clients.

Business Insurance reports that The NLRB’s Buffalo, New York, regional office alleges that Hispanics United of Buffalo unlawfully discharged five employees after they criticized working conditions, including workload and staffing issues.  

The complaint involves an employee who, in advance of a meeting with management about working conditions, posted to her Facebook page a co-worker’s allegation that employees did not do enough to help the organization’s clients, the news report said. The initial post generated responses from other employees, who defended their job performance and criticized working conditions.  

After Hispanics United learned of the posts, it fired the five employees on grounds that their comments constituted harassment of the employee originally mentioned in the post, the NLRB said in a statement, according to Business Insurance. The NLRB argues that the Facebook discussion is a protected concerted activity within the meaning of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act because it involved a conversation among co-workers about their terms and conditions of employment.   

In February, a settlement was reached in an NLRB case involving the discharge of a Connecticut ambulance service employee for posting negative comments about a supervisor on her Facebook page (see Settlement Reached in Complaint for Employee Fired over Facebook Posting).