As set forth in a decision by the National Labor and Relations Board (NLRB) on August 14, 2014, two employees of a sports bar were fired for being involved in an off-duty, off-site Facebook exchange that included customers and regarded the employer’s purported failure to withhold sufficient state taxes from the employees’ pay checks. One of the employees had merely “Liked” a comment. In addition to firing them, the employer also threatened the employees with a lawsuit for defamation.
The NLRB, however, held that the employer violated the employees’ rights to engage in concerted activity. The NLRB adopted “the judge’s findings that the Respondent violated the Act by threatening employees with discharge for and interrogating employees about their Facebook activity, as well as by informing employees they were being discharged because of their Facebook activity.” In addition, it adopted “the judge’s finding that the Respondent unlawfully threatened legal action for engaging in that activity.” Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31 (Aug. 22, 2014). A copy of the 26 page decision, which includes the text of the subject Facebook exchange, can be found on the NLRB website here.