Social Media Policies
In my search for an article containing lawsuits involving employee posts on social media networks, I was quite surprised to learn how much of problem this has become. According to Melanie Trottman (2011) of the Wall Street Journal, employees that have been severely disciplined or terminated due to their activities on social media websites have been retaliating by use of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. This law provides employees that work in private-sectors the right to voice their opinion in regards to employment conditions, such as pay and safety.
The National Labor Relations Board is the organization that ...view middle of the document...
However, in this case the employer should not have denied the employee union representation when she requested it. Employees pay union dues for a reason, and in any case where a complaint has been made against them they should have the right to have someone there to defend them if they need it.
In my opinion, by denying the employee her right to union representation the employer initiated a hostile work environment. In a sense, the employee was warning her fellow co-workers that the same thing could happen to them if there was ever a complaint made against them. I also think that the employee’s comments made outside of work on her personal computer should not have been viewed by her supervisor in the first place. Social networks are used to voice personal views and ideas to family and friends, and unless the supervisor was allowed by the complaining employee to view the page he should not have been spying on her in the first place.
In conclusion, although I feel that making derogatory statements about an employer in any setting is morally wrong. I don’t feel that an employee should be reprimanded for “hurting someone’s feelings” outside of work. In this case, no threats were made to the employer and nobody was seriously hurt by the situation. The employee was simply utilizing her freedom of speech rights, and venting her frustrations.
If something like the case I mentioned happened at my workplace I think the employee relations in regards to our supervisors would become worse regardless of the decision made by the NLRB. In the company I work at most of the employees already feel as if they can’t trust many of the members of management, because they act as if they are only looking out for themselves. If one of my supervisors began spying on an employee’s outside activities it would create a hostile work environment, and the workers would probably become less productive and morale would be compromised.
The decision made by the NLRB in the above case was in favor of the employee. However, that employee did not get her job back, and is still unemployed according to the article. In the area I work employment is not easy to come by, and just knowing that they could lose their job by making statements such as these would deter many of my co-workers from that sort of...