Recently, a catering company called Pier Sixty in New York City terminated an employee who made an explicit complaint about his boss on Facebook. The National Labor Relations Board contested the firing on the grounds that social media posts are protected employee rights. The court agreed with this position, and decided that Facebook is a modern way for co-workers to communicate with each other and create employee unions, which is completely legal. Although the comment used explicit language and insulted his boss’s family member, the act that the employer committed to warrant that criticism was enough to get the courts favor.
What Are My Rights When Forming a Union?
- Does my employer need to know about the union? No, they do not. You can join a completely new union your employer hasn’t heard of.
- Can I start a new union within my workplace? Yes, you may attempt to form a new union within your own workplace.
- What if I’m not in a union? In many jobs, you still have protected rights under the National Labor Relations Board including concerted activities. These are when two or more employees address an employer about wage increases, working conditions, and when two or more employees speak to each other regarding the workplace.
Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer who fights passionately on behalf of employee rights in the workplace.