With the rise of social media, many business owners have sought to control what their employees post on the various social networks. But as the owners of Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille in Watertown, Conn., learned during recent litigation, employers may have less authority than they think.
Employers may have less authority than they think.
In August, a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board in Washington concluded that Triple Play violated the National Labor Relations Act when it fired two employees over comments made on Facebook about a Triple Play owner. The N.L.R.B. also determined that Triple Play’s written social media policy violated the Labor Relations Act.
....the restaurant violated the law by threatening to sue them for their Facebook activity.
Triple Play violated the law when it fired Ms. Sanzone and Mr. Spinella, the N.L.R.B. found that the restaurant violated the law by threatening to sue them for their Facebook activity. The board also found that the restaurant’s social media policy was unlawful because employees could reasonably interpret it to mean they could not engage in activities that the Labor Relations Act protects. Specifically, the N.L.R.B. concluded that the word “inappropriate” was subject to imprecise interpretation by employees.
The N.L.R.B. issued an order that required Triple Play to refrain from the type of actions that led to this lawsuit, and to take several affirmative steps. These included:
- revising its Internet/blogging policy,
- offering reinstatement to Ms. Sanzone and Mr. Spinella within 14 days, and
- compensating both former employees for any lost earnings and adverse tax consequences they may have suffered.
As always in REVELN ScoopIt news, click on the photo to see the full post.
Related posts by Deb:
- Stay in touch with the monthly Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's 9 multi-gold award winning curation streams. Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.
- Are you local to SE Michigan? Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.
Photo by Maria Elena on Flickr.