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Status Updates, Tweets, and Gripes, Oh My! The NLRA in the Era of Social Media

12.6.10

Complaining about one's boss at the water cooler is a time honored tradition and, for some, a daily occurrence. With the increased prevalence of social networking websites, however, what was once a private conversation is now on display for all to see. What was once the water cooler is now the Hoover dam.

The National Labor Relations Board (the "NLRB") recently filed a complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut, an ambulance service company, accusing the company of violating the National Labor Relations Act (the "NLRA"). The NLRB asserts that the company improperly terminated one of its employees, Dawnmarie Souza, after Ms. Souza posted comments on Facebook criticizing her supervisor.

With the recent boom in the popularity of social networking websites, the NLRB's action is poised to affect the current legal landscape as it relates to employees' use of social networking websites. Even further, due to the publicity of this issue, the outcome of Ms. Souza's case will likely affect the ultimate comfort that employees have to criticize their employers on social networking websites.

This article appeared in the December 6, 2010 edition of Bloomberg Law Reports – Labor & Employment. Click on the link below to view the full article.

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