NLRB Ruling on "Likes"

Triple-Play-Logo-WhiteThe National Labor Relations Board has ruled on another social media case in which employees were terminated for posting about their employer in social media. In this case, the NLRB upheld the court decision that Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille wrongfully terminated two employees.

The employees had responded to this Facebook post by a former employee:

"Maybe someone should do the owners of Triple Play a favor and buy it from them. They can't even do the tax paperwork correctly!!! Now I OWE money…Wtf!!!"

One current employee "liked" the post and another commented, "I owe too.  Such an a**hole." Both were fired. 

The NLRB protects employees' rights to concerted activity, meaning they can discuss issues, such as pay and working conditions, with other employees. "Mere griping" or simply bad-mouthing an employer or customers typically is not protected.

What's significant about this case is it's the first NLRB ruling that addresses and protects simply "liking" a post.

The NLRB also ruled that Triple Play's Internet/blogging policy was too broad. Employers cannot prevent employees from making any negative comments about a company online.

Discussion Starters:

  • Research other cases when the the NLRB has ruled for or against an employer when an employee has posted online. What themes emerge?
  • Why do you think "concerted activity" is protected? What does that mean?