The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint last Friday against Knauz BMW, a Chicago area BMW dealership, alleging unlawful termination of an employee for posting photos and comments on Facebook that were critical of the dealership.
The employee, a car salesman, and coworkers were unhappy with the food and beverages at a dealership event. Salesmen complained that their sales commissions could suffer as a result. Following the event, the salesman posted critical photos and commentary on his Facebook. Other employees had access to the Facebook page.
The following week, the dealership asked the salesman to remove the posts, and he immediately complied. However, shortly thereafter, the employee was terminated for posting the images and comments.
The NLRB alleges that the employee’s Facebook posting was protected concerted activity within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, because it involved a discussion among employees about their terms and conditions of employment
Again, employers must continue to be cautious in their actions based on employees’ use of social media. Clearly, the NLRB is taking an expansive view of what constitutes protected concerted ativity under the NLRA.