• Facebook Firing Case Resolved Prior to NLRB Hearing: Will the NLRB Be Knocking at Your Door Next?
  • February 28, 2011 | Authors: Stephen W. Aronson; Nicole A. Bernabo; Alida Bogran-Acosta; Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson; Alice E. DeTora; Jean E. Tomasco
  • Law Firms: Robinson & Cole LLP - Hartford Office ; Robinson & Cole LLP - Boston Office ; Robinson & Cole LLP - Hartford Office
  • The media has been all "a-Twitter" about the case of Dawnmarie Souza, allegedly fired by her employer, American Medical Response of Connecticut, Inc. (AMR), because she posted negative comments about her boss on her Facebook page. Last fall, the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) Regional Office in Hartford had issued an unfair labor practice charge claiming that Ms. Souza's discharge violated the National Labor Relations Act because she was engaged in protected activity when she posted disparaging comments about her supervisor on Facebook and that AMR's social media policy was illegal. The parties reached a settlement on February 7, 2011, requiring AMR to change its work rules regarding blogging, Internet posting, and communications between employees. AMR also agreed that it would not deny employee requests for union representation nor threaten employees who request union representation with discipline. Although this settlement forecloses the possibility of any concrete guidance regarding the Board's developing approach to social media cases, the case provides notice to employers— unionized and non-unionized—that the National Labor Relations Board is paying attention to workplace rules involving media of all types.