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Fired for Facebook Post: Freedom of Speech vs Corp Policy

As the Internet evolves to encompass more of our lives the legal issues with being able to say whatever we want and immediately have that published to anyone in the world are growing. Today David M Cantor, a Phoenix Defense Lawyer, talks about a recent case reported by the ABAjournal from various sources where an employee was fired for voicing a union issue on Facebook.

At issue here is corporate policy versus the basic right an American citizen has to free and protected speech. In this case an employee of American Medical Response (AMR) of Connecticut Inc. posted negative remarks about her supervisor on Facebook, the incredibly popular social media network. This act violated AMR’s corporate policy preventing employees from ‘badmouthing‘ the company online. The post in question was in retaliation to AMR’s denial of union representation regarding a customer complaint.

Naturally the union came to the employee’s defense and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a lawsuit against AMR for restricting the employees right to “protected concerted activity” under the National Labor Relations Act. In his video David talks about the difference between badmouthing a companies product or service versus its employment policy and tactics. The case was recently settled our of court for an undisclosed sum and AMR has updated its policy regarding worker’s ability to communicate online about the company.

For years the discussion about social media dangers have been focused on employees’ watching what they say. Now we are seeing more and more cases where the employer needs to be more cautious about how it behaves in the social media space.

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