Can I fire my employee for calling me a “cheap son of a b@!ch” on Facebook?

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Joan M. Vecchioli of Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns, LLP addresses the issue of whether or not an employee can be fired for harshly criticizing an employer on social media, using the example of an employee calling his/her superior a “cheap son of a b****.” Ms. Vecchioli provides that an employer could be prohibited from firing an employee for such an offense, because the comment may be protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which gives the worker a right to communicate criticism of management:

“Employees have the right . . . to engage in collective activities, for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.”

An employer cannot silence a worker’s denigration about working terms and conditions. The restriction imposed on employees prohibiting them from using offensive remarks about an employer has been found to be unlawful.

Video provided by myLawCLE excerpt from the national CLE program: Drafting Employee Handbooks: Techniques for Avoiding Liability

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