It is a little known provision found in the National Labor Relations Act. An employee has the right to discuss "terms and conditions " of employment with other employees. An employee can discuss whether they like their supervisor or whether they are paid enough. Discussions about work issues were seen as the precursor to forming or not forming a union. So, the National Labor Relations Act, a 1930’s era statute, allows employees such discussions. I discussed this provision in a prior post. The National Labor Relations Board refers to this as "concerted activity." They define concerted activity as two or more employees getting together to improve working conditions. See NLRB webpage.
So, it was sure to happen sometime. An ambulance driver and union member in Connecticut discussed and disparaged her boss on her Facebook page. The remark drew supportive statements from other employees. The ambulance service fired her. Now, the National Labor Relations Board is investigating. They have issued a press release denouncing terminations for an employee discussing terms and conditions of employment. See press release.
Dan Schwartz at Connecticut Employment Blog, who primarily represents employers, has warned employers abut this. See his blog post. Even though this partiucular employee is a union member, the provision regarding discussing terms and conditions of employment is not limited to union members. So, employers, if you have a social media policy, make sure it does not prohibit discussions of "terms and conditions" of employment.