Right To Trash Talk Your Boss And/Or Company On Facebook May Soon Be Protected By Law

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Odds are, the urge to talk shit about your boss or firm on Facebook have struck at least once or twice. But despite the fact that the jackhole really had it coming, or that all of your friends and acquaintances you haven't spoken to since third grade really needed to know that whoever stocks the snacks in your pantry has been slipping and you've just about had it with this shithole, you held your tongue. Well thanks to the courageousness of one young woman, a precedent may be set wherein you can take to the Good Book and rail all you want about the insufferable prick who insists every mundane task must be charted out on a dry erase board when a simple 30 second conversation would suffice, and who you strongly suspect was dropped on his head with alarming frequency as a child.

In what labor officials and lawyers view as a ground-breaking case involving workers and social media, the National Labor Relations Board has accused a company of illegally firing an employee after she criticized her supervisor on her Facebook page. This is the first case in which the labor board has stepped in to argue that workers’ criticisms of their bosses or companies on a social networking site are generally a protected activity and that employers would be violating the law by punishing workers for such statements.

[...]

The case involves Dawnmarie Souza, who had to prepare a response to a customer’s complaint about her work. Ms. Souza, the board said, was unhappy that her supervisor would not let a representative of the Teamsters, the union representing the company’s workers, help prepare her response. Ms. Souza then mocked her supervisor on Facebook, using several vulgarities to ridicule him, according to Jonathan Kreisberg, director of the board’s Hartford office, which filed the complaint. He also said she had written, “love how the company allows a 17 to become a supervisor” — 17 is the company’s lingo for a psychiatric patient.

The labor board said that her comments “drew supportive responses from her co-workers” and led to further negative comments about the supervisor. Mr. Kreisberg said: “You’re allowed to talk about your supervisor with your co-workers. You’re allowed to communicate the concerns and criticisms you have. The only difference in this case is she did it on Facebook and did it on her own time and her own computer.”

In the unlikely event your firm chooses not to adopt the rule but you still really need to get some frustrations off your chest, feel free to voice your gripes on-site, face to face.

Related

Chuck Schumer Is Ruining Facebook IPO Day For One Shareholder

As you may have heard, earlier this afternoon, Facebook priced its initial public offering at $38/share, valuing co-founder Eduardo Saverin's stake at approximately $2.9 billion. Since Saverin conveniently renounced his US citizenship last week, he will avoid paying millions in capital gains taxes and hang on to an estimated $67-$100 million that would have otherwise gone to the government, news that did not sit right with Chuck Schumer. Did the Senator from New York call the guy a "piece of shit miscreant"? No. Did he send him an email that included the line, "fuck with me and you will have a huge asshole"? No. But Schumer was inspired to create draft legislation aimed at tax-dodging ex-pats like Saverin and to let the kid know he makes him sick. Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Casey (Pa.), who called Saverin's decision "despicable," said the Facebook co-founder stands to save $67 to $100 million in taxes by renouncing his citizenship. "Senator Casey and I have a status update for him: pay your taxes in full," Schumer said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. Their so-called "Ex-PATRIOT Act" would impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on American investments for those who renounce their citizenship and would also prohibit individuals like Saverin from re-entering the country. The law -- which only applies to individuals with a net worth of over $2 million or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 -- would not apply to non-American investments by former citizens. Under the proposed legislation, the IRS would decide soon after an individual relinquishes his or her citizenship if the renouncement was motivated by tax avoidance. The individual would then have the opportunity to provide reasons for the renouncement, but there would be a "strong presumption" the move was for tax purposes. "Mr. Saverin has decided to 'defriend' the United States of America just to avoid paying his taxes," Schumer said, showing his familiarity with Facebook's lingo. [NYP]