Skip to comments.NLRB bolsters private-employee speech (Would this help Phil R.?)
Posted on 12/23/2013 3:18:41 PM PST by steelhead_trout
Moreover, private employers in most states and in most circumstances employ their employees at will, meaning the employers management decisions cannot be challenged [this is terrible] unless those decisions discriminate against an employee because of the employees age, gender or other protected characteristic.
Suddenly, however, the discretion private employers have enjoyed is diminishing. As Lafe E. Solomon, acting general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board, explained in a report released on Aug. 18, the NLRB now maintains that the National Labor Relations Act protects some employee social-media activity. As a result, private employees now have more freedom of speech than their government counterparts.
In one case, for example, a salesman for a luxury automobile dealership criticized his employer on his Facebook page about a sales event the employer had conducted. His online comments which concerned primarily the employers choice of refreshments were consistent with criticisms other employees had expressed among themselves .... Shortly after learning of the postings, the employer fired the salesman.
The board concluded that the firing violated the NLRA. The posting ... was a direct outgrowth of the sales staffs earlier, protected discussion.
After the hospital disciplined a nurse for posting a message critical of another employees absenteeism and then terminated the nurse for posting a statement critical of the hospital, the nurse reported the hospital to the board. The board found that the hospitals social-media policies violated the NLRA because ... they unlawfully limited employees ability to discuss wages and other terms and conditions of their employment.
Employees social-media speech will not lose its protection, Solomon wrote, merely because it is defamatory, false or offensive. False speech, he noted, is protected unless it is maliciously false. Similarly, cursing and insults are protected unless they are significantly outside the realm of normal workplace conduct.
(Excerpt) Read more at firstamendmentcenter.org ...
Is Phil an actual employee of A&E or is he on contract?
Phil is not an “employee” in a technical legal sense.
Even if he were it would not matter; the NLRB regulates ONLY union shops and I don’t think reality show stars have a union yet.