Your new social media nightmare — employees

The outcome of a recent case involving a woman fired for bad mouthing her employer on Facebook could be profound for PR departments everywhere.

The Associated Press reported that a Connecticut woman, who was fired after posting negative comments about her boss at the ambulance company where she worked, teamed up with the NLRB to sue the company, American Medical Response. They successfuly argued that such speech was protected by labor laws allowing workers to discuss wages, hours, and working conditions with co-workers.

To extend this to social media interactions is downright novel.

Most companies these days have a social media policy in their employee handbook. Those policies are often loosely worded, and can be summed up with: “Be tactful when you’re mashing buttons on the Internet.” But as with everything else on the Web, a few idiots ruin it for those of us who behave rationally within the confines of our social media profiles.

Thankfully, the ruling in the American Medical Response case won’t give free reign to employees to say whatever they want about work without implication. It’s still a bit of a grey area when it comes to divulging company secrets, etc., as one source in the AP article suggests.

Here’s where it becomes even more of a grey area:

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