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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

02 Sep NLRB “Likes” Employees’ Facebook Argument

  The NLRB recently ruled that “liking” a Facebook comment is protected, concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Thus, firing an employee for “liking” what the company deemed to be a disparaging remark regarding tax withholdings was unlawful. The decision can be found here.   In short, employees of a bar & grille were not happy when they found out that their employer had miscalculated tax withholdings (meaning they still owed money), so they did what more and more folks seem to…

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10 Mar Illinois Case Reminds (Again): Document Rights and Responsibilities On Company Social Media Accounts

An Illinois employer faces potential liability for accessing an employee’s Facebook and Twitter accounts while the employee was on leave. There is no question the accounts related to the company’s business, and among other things directed traffic to the company website.There were various points of disagreement among the parties about the accounts, however, including:   The employer says it directed the employee to start the Twitter account in question. The employee denies that. The employee says company management had administrator status on the Facebook page in…

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27 Feb How much can a Facebook post cost you? About $80K

Patrick Snay was an instructor at a Florida educational institution. After the school declined to renew his contract, Snay filed a lawsuit alleging age discrimination and retaliation. The parties ultimately settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount … well, until Snay’s daughter jumped on Facebook and posted the following: “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver,’ she wrote to her more than 1,200 friends. ‘Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” Snay never saw a penny…

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08 Jan Facebook Background Checking: Shouldn’t Smart Applicants Check Their Privacy Settings?

I have written here and elsewhere that I think the trend in state legislatures to limit employers’ ability to look at social media has gotten out of hand. Very few employers are demanding Facebook and other social media passwords, so legislation limiting that “practice” may scratch an itch, but has little practical impact, at least until legislatures intentionally or inadvertently expand the scope of those statutes to restrict other less intrusive practices – such as looking at information that applicants and employees make publicly available!  It seems…

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29 Oct Facebook Users Beware: Even Posts You Claim Not to Have Written Can Haunt You

In yet another case emphasizing the growing impact of social media on the workplace, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of an employer who terminated its employee based on its honest belief that he had posted a disparaging comment on Facebook, which created workplace concerns. Specifically, in Smizer v. Community Mennonite Early Learning Center, found here, the Plaintiff (a male) claimed that the Defendant – whose Director was the Plaintiff’s own mother – had discriminated against him…

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