- When an employee hits the Facebook "like" button, courts have so far said that they are protected by significant – and growing – employment law protections, according to the BizTimes Milwaukee.
- For example, the article cites a recent Second Circuit Court ruling that upheld a lower court’s decision that the employees’ “likes” were "concerted, protected activity" under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
- As a result, employers firing employees based on their “likes” are probably going to be found unlawful violators of free speech.
According to the BizTimes, the NLRA clearly bans employers from firing an employee for participating in "concerted, protected activity," and in this specific scenario that means pressing the Facebook "like" button as a way of commenting with co-workers about workplace situations and conditions.
For example, a 2013 Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision (Bland v. Roberts) found a Facebook “like” was protected because a sheriff deputy’s “liked” the Facebook page of the sheriff’s opponent in an upcoming election, the article reports.
When it comes to the growing complex relationship between social media and employment law, employers should be careful, the BizTimes reports. The best strategy? As is often the case, if an employer is considering any disciplinary action connected to social media, a call to employment counsel would be in order before making any decision.