EMPLOYEE'S USE OF FACEBOOK'S "LIKE" BUTTON PROTECTED UNDER THE NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT
In August of 2014, The National Labor Relations Board unanimously upheld that an employee’s clicking of Facebook’s “like” button could be considered protected, concerted activity under section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. This decision was the first to address the specific use of the “like” button in the context of protected employee speech.
The dispute in this case arose when the employer issue a paycheck to at least two employees with the wrong amount of taxes withheld. Several employees left comments on a former employee’s Facebook page criticizing the employer’s accounting abilities that resulted in all of them owing additional taxes. One current employee selected the “like” button after a comment by the former employee stating that she was going to the labor board to complain. A second current employee made a comment calling the current owner an expletive. Both employees were subsequently terminated.
Finding that the Facebook discussion at issue involved an ongoing dispute involving tax withholding practice, and that the comments were made on a private Facebook page rather than directed at the general public, the Board held that the activity was concerted and protected under the National Labor Relations Act. Thus, the employer violated the NLRA when it terminated both employees.
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