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Facebook-Related Firing Sparks Legal Drama!

| Filed under: Legal Matters

drama over employee fired for facebook comment about boss

Looks like we've got serious Facebook-related drama this time!

The National Labor Relations Board is accusing a company of illegally firing an employee because she criticized her supervisor on her Facebook profile.

This is the first time that the labor board has gotten involved in a case like this, in an effort to argue that criticizing bosses or companies online is a protected activity.

Here's what the general counsel for the labor board, Lafe Solomon, had to say about the case:

“This is a fairly straightforward case under the National Labor Relations Act — whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler, it was employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor, and they have a right to do that.”

Here's what the company involved in the case, the American Medical Response of Connecticut, had to say in response:

“The employee in question was discharged based on multiple, serious complaints about her behavior. The employee was also held accountable for negative personal attacks against a co-worker posted publicly on Facebook. The company believes that the offensive statements made against the co-workers were not concerted activity protected under federal law.”

The employee in question, Dawnmarie Souza, mocked her supervisor on her Facebook profile, and used vulgarities while doing so.

We think Dawnmarie should be fired, and we support the company's decision to let her go.

When you post things online, it's out there for the public to see, and it's a sign of disloyalty and disrespect to deal with a work-related grievance in such a manner.

What do U think? Do U agree or do U think an employee should be allowed to say whatever they want on Facebook?

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40 comments to “Facebook-Related Firing Sparks Legal Drama!”

  1. 1

    Well, if she had done this in Iran … she'd already be swinging from a crane in a public square where she committed the offense of slagging her co-workers under the assumption that she was protected by some as-yet-undefined law.
    She did the offense, soooooooooooo …. let her swing !!! Ya baby, swing, and with good cadence so that it can be captured on a plethora of cell phone cams and posted on the internet and become a viral sensation !!!

  2. 2

    I think if you talked between one or two employees it's ok. Everyone needs to vent but FB yeah that is way to many people to put it out there. Stupid move.

  3. 3

    I'm going to have to agree with the company on this one. A employer expects loyalty and proper business demeanor even while off the clock, she obviously didn't exhibit either.

  4. 4

    That's kind of a stupid place to vent about your boss. Sure, you smear their name but they really, really hate you then. Whey not just trash them verbally when the opportunity arises?

  5. 5

    Each day that goes by, I'm more ashame to be a Perez fan when I read uptight comments like this… I'm even beginning to doubt that Perez visits his own site now and often.

  6. 6

    I bet if she were gay, and did the same exact thing, you would be singing a different tune!

  7. 7

    Who woulda thought I'd be agreeing with Perez Hilton. But I agree 100% with his very well put position in supporting the company on this one. I understand free speech and all that, but you just can't write things like that on a public site esp when people on her friend's list work there. If she needed to vent there are better ways. If nothing else, the poor judgement displayed merited the dismissal. What company needs an employee with such appalling lack of good judgement?

  8. 8

    If she was dumb enough to post negative things on her Face book AND not make her comments private to friends only then she deserves to be fired.

  9. 9

    In the US, your employer now owns you. I mean hell, they can make you piss in a cup to check and see what you did over the weekend.

  10. 10

    what a fucking Nazi you are perez.

  11. 11

    At my company, they have a policy that strictly prohibits its employees from disparaging the company, which would effect include its management. If this woman worked there, she would have been fired as well, and I believe she should be.

  12. 12

    The girl was foolish to do this, but when did people become such thin-skinned wimps? Tell her boss to get some balls and stop being a baby. Everyone hates him because he is the boss, he needs to get over it.
    And Perez, you taking the "high road" is too hypocritical for words.

  13. 13

    3 words: freedom of speech

    enough said

  14. 14

    I totally agree with Perez on this one and some of you should stop bashing perez. You always want him to stop with the lesbian gay thing and yet you guys always bring it up in your comments. Really, some of you.. DON'T COME TO THIS SITE AND READ HIS STUFF IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU PPL. You have a choice, non?

  15. 15

    Sounds like somebody should of had a more secure FB settings that way she can bitch about her job and whom ever and not get into trouble about it.Its pretty easy you have the power to let what ever be seen by only such and such people its her own fault by not utilizing those tools

  16. 16

    have you heard of freedom of speech?? im just saying.. cause ive worked with people that I dont like and im allowed to have my own opinion of those people….

  17. 17

    i agree that she should have been fired. people forget that whatever is posted online can be read. sure i have my bad days at work-who doesn't ? at the same time, i wouldn't publicly vent online especially if where i work is posted or even if i announce it by name.

  18. 18

    Re: Wenchtits – Same here. We all bitch occassionally about our boss- but 1. this was just stuuuuupiiiiid;2. Is this a medical company? B/C I certainly want someone that stupid involved in ANY aspect of my healthcare. Also, doesn't this fall under "cyber-bullying" to some extent? I'm sure she thought this fell under "freedom of speach, but then again, that would have required thought.

  19. 19

    Re: stefystef – Maybe her boss owned/worked for a company where "their" reputation was critical. If everyone can see her comments, it could possibly effect sales/contracts/future business.

  20. 20

    2 words at-will employment
    i think too many idiots out there screaming 'freedom of speech' don't understand what the first amendment protects. no one is saying you can't say what you want. just understand that sometimes there are consequences for doing so. the first amendment is not a catch-all for people to do whatever they want. if that were the case, then threatening the life of a police officer wouldn't be a felony. freedom of speech, right?

  21. 21

    Re: kalijuri

    Of course we have freedom of speech. Employers also have the freedom to employ whoever they wish. Your decision is whether whatever is on your mind is more important than your job.

  22. Laura says – reply to this


    Since when does the National Labor Relations Board get involved in anything? Seriously. Depending on the state she lives in (work-at-will), she can be fired for just wearing a yellow shirt. But if the employee can argue that her venting was a process of unionizing and than it becomes more complicated.

  23. 23

    it's also bullying. Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Personal vulger attacks have little to do with "work conditions"

  24. 24

    AMR is operated in a town over from me. It has a reputation of being very sleezy employers. She might have had good reason for talking about her boss. Still she should have kept her profile private and kept in mind who she was 'friends' with before commenting.

  25. 25

    Remember everything you do can be seen. If she did not check her privacy setting oh well. But, I would not have named names or said company. I feel bad for her losing her job but hey she had it coming doing this for all to see.

  26. 26

    This already happened in Canada. Totally legitimate cause for canning someone's ass.

  27. quiff says – reply to this


    perez: have you ever heard of the "first amendment"? that's what saves your sorry ass from getting sued for the shit you say about people on your website!!

  28. 28

    Freedom y'all. She should be able to say whatever she wants on FB.

  29. 29

    BITE ME Perez … it doesn't fucking matter you twit. Just because you put it out there via keyboard as opposed to, say, YouTube or voice recorder or camera or whatever, does NOT give a company the right to fire someone based on their own beliefs. We are supposed to have freedom in this country, and not be bullied or silenced by "Big Brother". FUCK OFF you nimrod. What's next? "Perez Support Tea Parties"????

  30. 30

    I disagree. Folks have been talking shit about their co-workers and superiors on the internet for around 15 years, in blog posts and forums. In the last couple of years, brands and businesses have all jumped on the social media bandwagon in order to spread their corporate message, and ultimately protect it.

    It still puzzles me how some business respond to the discovery of employees bitching about their work experiences. It happens all the time, and is a normal and rather healthy part of employee self-expression. Of course their is always a line to be drawn. And if a business is going to participate in social media, then they should at least draw up some form of employee etiquette - otherwise, all bitching (online or not) is fair game.

  31. 31

    Hello? Freedom of Speech? People better watch which side they fall on this b/c there is alot more at stake. Here's a clue co-workers…I don't like you and more than likely you don't like me so let's stop being fake…do our work and get over whatever anyone else's opinion is of us because few in our lives ever know the "real" you. Meanwhile, how do you put food in your mouth Perez? Spreading Gossip and half truths with a big side of what is only your opinion.

  32. 32

    And to all the dipshits talking about Freedom of Speech…this is EXACTLY what it is there for…so when any of us make PUBLIC COMMENTS based on OUR OPINIONS…we are protected from those who would silence us because they do not agree with our opinion.

  33. 33

    And this is not in the same box as the threatening of someone's life, so let's not compare apples to oranges

  34. 34

    I'm with the company, glad she got fired.

  35. 35

    This is why you make you're profile private or block people from seeing certain posts…it's not that hard. Also…a lot of people vent on FB does that mean everyone should get fired? Companies need to get over it and she should make her profile private or block all coworkers and anyone related to them. Maybe just confront her about it..give her a warning..and move on..I bitch about my job on FB however my privacy settings are well taken care of. I think both sides are stupid on this one.

  36. 36

    People should be allowed to say what they want. I was at a company that had me working overtime and on holidays for no additional pay. I was let go because I told someone about it. If no one ever hears about a bad employer - they get away with it and we are now back to sweatshops in the USA.

  37. 37

    Are you insane? All you did for God knows how long is put nasty stuff up about people for "the public to see as a sign of disloyalty and disrespect". So what now because you've decided that you were wrong to do it you get to throw everyone else under the bus?

  38. 38

    childish thing to do and she deserved to be fired

  39. 39

    it would be alot easier to form an opinion if the conversation/ status updates were posted for us to read.

  40. 40

    Re: MichelleMoore04

    Uh, illegal working practices =/= personal attacks, sorry.