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Facebook job whining is protected speech, says labor board

By Melissa Bell
Facebook
(Sean Kilpatrick/AP)

Bad day at the office? Frustrated by the overbearing boss? You may be safe taking to the social networks and venting to your heart's content. For now, the National Labor Relations Board has got your back.

The federal agency filed a complaint in support of an employee who was fired after posting negative remarks about her supervisor on her personal Facebook page.

The board came to the conclusion that the remarks were protected, and the employer could not retaliate.

"Whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler, it was employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor, and they have a right to do that," Lafe Solomon, the board's acting general counsel, told the New York Times.

The complaint also alleges the company had a social media networking policy that was "overly broad."

The company in question, American Medical Response of Connecticut, denied the labor board's allegations. The case will be heard Jan. 25.

In the meantime, if you really cannot refrain from whining about your boss on Facebook, there are these fantastic things called "Lists." They allow you to group your friends according to what you do and do not want them to know. Simply go to Account --> Edit Friends --> Create a List. Label it "Work." Select all the friends that have anything at all to do with your job, or your boss.

Now, the next time you go to post a status update that reads, "My boss is a huge jerkface," click the icon that looks like a lock. It will offer you the option "Custom." Choose edit and then in the "Hide this from" bar, enter "WORK." Save setting; whine at will.

fblists.jpg

By Melissa Bell  | November 9, 2010; 11:03 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Kanye West on Delta plane: great in-air entertainment option
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Comments

This is a huge issue! I am an employee of Walmart. Their policy is very broad also. 1.6 million of us are affected by this! I have been recently been written up almost fired for venting against un-named associates on Facebook. A so called friend with ambition of promotion copied my post and turned it into management. I am no longer allowed to be promoted for the next year and I was on my way of moving ahead in my career.

Posted by: muskydevil | November 9, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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