The NLRB is moving closer to defining a final position on when an employee’s social media postings qualify as protected activity. It has recently published a helpful report detailing the outcome of 14 social-media cases, including its first “Facebook firing” decision.
In this case, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) upheld an earlier decision that a luxury car dealership lawfully fired a sales person over a Facebook post. The employee had violated the company’s social media policy and a customer’s privacy when he posted negative comments and pictures of the customer, her son, and a car accident at a sister dealership. The employee uploaded snarky comments about the incident to his personal Facebook page and shared them with coworkers.
The decision also clarified that a second set of critical postings by the same employee about his working conditions at a sales event were “protected concerted activity.” Notably, these posting also violated the company’s social media policy.
It’s All About the Social Media Policy
The company’s social media policy should have worked to protect the dealership from lawsuits, but in this case, the policy was unhelpful. It was too broad because it did not provide specific guidance on what employees could and could not do and overly attempted to limit their online activity.
If you are managing the social media policy at your dealership, don’t make the same mistake. Here are some resources to help you keep the policy in line with the latest developments:
By the way, if have a question about writing a social media policy at your dealership, and you’d like to talk, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.