On December 7, 2010, we blogged about In re American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc., a case in which the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) filed a complaint against ambulance company American Medical Response (“AMR”) alleging that AMR’s termination of an employee who posted negative remarks about her boss on her Facebook page violated the National Labor Relations Act. In its Complaint, the NLRB also alleged that AMR’s blogging and Internet policy was overly broad and thus unlawful.
The NLRB recently issued a press release announcing its settlement with AMR and stated:
Under the terms of the settlement…the company agreed to revise its overly broad rules to ensure that they do not improperly restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers and others while not at work, and that they would not discipline or discharge employees for engaging in such discussions….
Employers should take note of this settlement as its provides some guidance regarding social media policies and how they must be drafted to withstand the NLRB’s scrutiny. After In re American Medical Response, it is at least clear that employers may not muzzle employees, either in the office or on social media, as “free speech” is alive and well in the workplace.
As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.