Skip to main content

Is It Legal to Fire Your Employee(s) Who Bad-Mouths You or Your Company on Facebook?

This CNN News video presents a recent case and brings up a hot topic of whether it is legal to fire an employee who complains about his/her supervisor or company on social networking sites. The debate was triggered when an ambulance worker in Connecticut got fired after she criticized her supervisor on Facebook and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) jumped in, stating that such firing is illegal. The company fired this worker because of her “disloyal conducts” and violation of the company’s social media policy. The NLRB, on the contrary, believes her activities are protected.

I believe every organization needs to have a social media policy in place by now. However, no matter if a work place has a social media policy or not, I do not think employees should post anything negative about their bosses, co-workers, or the company they work for on the Internet. I often hear people saying they keep their “personal lives” on social networking sites separated from their “professional lives” at work and as a result, they feel they are free to talk about anything they want. My question is if every person’s posts on social networking sites are restricted to his/her private life, why there are so many news headlines of people getting fired because of their posts about their work. If a person often “bad-mouths” about his/her work and the people around them on social networking sites, why would a company want to promote that person when s/he seems so negative about their work? A professional can be very critical about things sometimes, but quite often, a professional also offers constructive suggestions to help make changes.

.

Comments

  1. This situation of workers facebooking or tweeting about their bosses on the internet and being fired is indeed an interesting and reoccurring problem in the work force. In today's society, almost everyone has access to the internet whether its from a smart phone, iPad, or computer the internet has become a billboard for all to see, including your 'psychotic' Boss.
    In the case of the woman from Connecticut being fired for posting comments about her supervisor on Facebook, I believe it was fully wrong of her to use disparaging comments and slander about her boss in her wall posts. Even in terms of the Concerted Activity, where her comment seemed to spark conversation among fellow employees, I feel this woman should be mature and professional enough to realize a post about her Supervisor should have more sentence structure and less exaggerations when posting a comment for all to see.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I could not agree more with Zach's comment. In my opinion, there is no excuse for the woman to take that avenue of expression besides immaturity. I feel as though employees must step up and think through the potential consequences of their actions before they act. If this employee stepped back from the situation she was in, and considered the possible hype that her comment has made in the media, would she still have posted the comment? Was it merely an outlet for her pent up frustrations with her supervisor,and a moment of rage that was taken too far?
    Even if her accusations were true, there is a better way to go about resolving the issue. Social media just inflates the drama of the incident. Opening up the lines of communication between supervisors and employees in a safe environment is one way from preventing such situations from arising.
    Playing the devils advocate though, I can also see the employees perspective. The Concerted Activity allows you to have this freedom of expression, but there is a time and place for it. Work stays inside the office. Will this employee be able to even get a new job now that her name has been exploited? If she ever applied for a new job, did she believe her potential new employer would not look into her use of social media anyways?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you very much for your comments, both Amber and Zack. I asked the penal in IHMRS yesterday a question of what social media policy they have in place in their organizations. One penal told the audience that a similar case (like the CNN one) happened to her resort. She turned around the situation by talking with the employee. The employee ended up taking off her post on Facebook and apologized on Facebook. Of course, the resort created a culture that other employees also jumped in and defended for the hotel.

    I agree with you. I believe a true professional will not do anything like that. I hope none of the students in my class will do that. Think before we act --- also, let things sit aside and cool down a little bit before we take further actions might help. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Facebook and Twitter are places where things are often said in the heat of the moment. Most people seldom think of the consequences... for themselves or the people they are lashing out against. I think companies all need to have some sort of policy in place regarding social media. Work issues should be taken care of at work, not online.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

United Airlines pushes economy-class travelers away with a new frequent flyer program

United Airlines just revealed massive changes to its MileagePlus Program. How much a traveler spends on the tickets is the only thing that matters in the airline’s new frequent flyer program.

Not long ago, United quietly switched from a distance-based reward program to a fare-based frequent flyer program. Since 2015, people earn mileages based on how much they spend on the air tickets instead of how far they fly. 

For example, I typically earn about 4,000 reward miles for a round-trip ticket between Los Angeles and Asia, even though the distance of the trip usually ranges from 10,000 to 12,000 miles. Nevertheless, the distance I fly still matters because it will be counted towards the “qualified miles” for elite status. 

Now, the airline wants to take a big step further to (only) reward those top-spending travelers as their elite customers.

The terms used in the current MileagePlus Program

There are four elite statuses in the United Airlines MileagePlus Program, including Premier Silver, …

Promoting student success in the STR Student Market Study Competition

I was in New York City (NYC) over the Veterans Day weekend for the HX: The Hotel Experience 2019, one of the most important trade shows in the lodging industry. Similar to last year’s trade show, the HX 2019 also entailed four components, including HX: The Marketplace, HX: The Conference, Boutique Design New York, and the STR (Smith Travel Research) Student Market Study Competition.  

STR is the leading data analytics provider for the lodging industry. Since its debut in 2015, the STR Student Market Study Competition (the STR Competition hereafter) has received significant attention from the hospitality programs around the world.

This year, over 20 students from the Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona traveled to NYC for HX 2019. Moreover, six of them also participated in the STR Competition for the first time.

In the end, the Cal Poly Pomona team won the 2nd Prize among the 25 competing colleges and universities. The other winning teams include Michigan State …

Want a job at McDonald’s? Now, it is as easy as talking to Alexa

McDonald’s Corporation introduced the world’s first voice-initiated job application process called McDonald’s Apply Thru. Now, job seekers can initiate the job application process through McDonald’s Apply Thru by taking to either Alexa or Google Assistant.

How McDonald’s Apply Thru works
The job application process begins with the applicants saying:
Alexa, help me get a job at McDonald’s.” 
or
“Google, help me get a job at McDonald’s.”
Then, the job applicants will need to answer a few basic questions, including their name, job of interest, and the location where they want to work.
Afterward, the job applicants will receive a text message with a hyperlink that will take the applicants to continue the rest of the application process.  
Where McDonald’s Apply Thru serve
McDonald’s Apply Thru is now available in nine countries, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Spain. It will be made available to other countries in the coming months.
Why McDona…