The NLRB has made findings regarding the use of employee posts on Social Media sites to discipline or terminate those employees. Typically, these cases occur when an employee posts “negative” information about their current employer or boss. Sometimes these are “public,” and other times, the employer uses “spies” or “fake friending” to see the Facebook page of the employee
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In April of 2013, the case of the Bettie Page Clothing Company was discussed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The company’s authorities fired employees who complained about their supervisor, the specifics of the supervisor’s behavior, and about the lack of competence. Facebook was used as the platform for discussing the issue and complaining about the supervisor’s behavior.
Having informed the company’s leaders about the problems with Manager Hayley Griffin, Holly Thomas, Vanessa Morris, and Brittany Johnson continued the discussion of the issue with the help of Facebook posts in which they provided the negative characteristic of Hayley Griffin’s work. The company’s management examined the employees’ posts, and Holly Thomas, Vanessa Morris, and later Brittany Johnson were fired. The NLRB and the court concluded about the actions of the employer as a violation of the National Labor Relations Act in relation to Sections 7 and 8, according to which employees are allowed to join organizations and discussion groups to protect their rights and interests (Design Technology Group, 2013). Thus, the employees were unlawfully terminated.
Do you agree with the decision of the NLRB or court in the case you describe in question #1 above? Why or why not?
It is possible to agree with the conclusions of the NLRB and the court about the illegal actions of the Bettie Page Clothing Company in relation to three employees who discussed the aspects of the supervisor’s behavior and competence with the help of Facebook posts.
The actions of the employees are relevantly discussed as the protected ones because all the people can act together to protect their rights and interests using any platform. The social speech within the Internet platforms is protected and cannot result in any disciplinary actions. The unionization and discussion of the work-related issues are the main focus of the NLRB.
Assume this case happened at a place you have worked in the past or where you work now (or want to work.) Give an example of how the decision in the case above could lead to better or worse employee relations in your company
The development of a similar situation at my previous workplace could lead to worsening employee relations. In spite of the fact, none of the employees could be fired because of the articles of the NLRA and principles of the employer, the disciplinary actions could be provided in the hidden form to prevent the further employees’ similar behaviors and respond to the principles of the NLRA. The disciplinary actions could be implemented, but rather legally, increasing the tensions between employees. Thus, the negative results could be obvious.
Explain how you would communicate this decision to your employees or to your supervisors (depending on the decision you have selected) to ensure that future situations like this do not occur again. In your answer, determine whether you feel a social media policy is a good route to go or not. If so, list at least 3 things you would include in your policy and why you would include them. If you do not feel a social media policy is a good route to go, explain why you would not implement one.
The decision which is based on following the idea of joining the union or organization to protect the employees’ rights and interests using the social media should be communicated to employees and supervisors directly in order to guarantee the employees know their rights appropriately and supervisors are ready to follow the principles developed by the NLRB (DeCenzo & Robbins, 2009).
To prevent similar problematic situations in the future, it is necessary to develop an effective social media policy. The adequately worked out social media policy is a good route to predict the problems because the appropriate and inappropriate employees’ behaviors will be stated in detail in the social media policy. Knowing the rules, employees can protect themselves from violating these norms.
Three points which can be stated in the social media policy should be directed mostly toward the employees’ rights, but not prohibitions. Thus, it is possible to prohibit the usage of personal names in the posts related to the company. It is necessary to allow the unionization with the help of social media to discuss the issues. Moreover, it is possible to allow posting photos and videos related to the company’s activities.
DeCenzo, D., & Robbins, S. (2009). Fundamentals of human resource management. USA: Wiley.
Design Technology Group, LLC d/b/a Bettie Page Clothing and DTG California Management. (2013). Web.