The Feds are championing an employee who cussed out her supervisor on Facebook and called him crazy, saying such trash talking is protected speech. It's a big win for the internet's oversharing class.
Conventional wisdom holds you should watch your mouth on Facebook, especially in matters concerning coworkers and bosses. But the National Labor Relations Board now says that you're more entitled to protection when dissing your boss, particularly if you do it to coworkers. In other words, your speech is protected under the law if it falls into one of the touchiest categories of oversharing.
The NLRB filed a complaint supporting an ambulance worker who bitched about her job on Facebook, griping that her boss would not allow a union rep to help her respond to a customer complaint. She also called her boss "several vulgarities" and "a 17," ambulance driver lingo for "crazy," said the New York Times. Several co-workers chimed in with words of support and further trash talk about the boss, and the employee was, predictably, fired.
The NLRB said talk about bosses is exactly the sort of speech labor law protects on Facebook:
"This is a fairly straightforward case... 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."
An administrative judge still has to rule on the case. There's no word yet on what the NLRB thinks of overshares about drinking binges, sexual fetishes, regrettable hookups or personal hygiene challenges. But we're sure they'd just love it if you sent them some examples to ponder!
[Photo by Konstantin Sutyagin/Shutterstock]