In a surprising ruling, an Administrative Law Judge has ruled that even though a car dealership’s employee policy was overly broad, and an employee had engaged in protected activity in posting on Facebook, the fact that the employee engaged in non-protected activity was enough to make his termination lawful. The employee had posted on matters related to his wages which were protected comments. However, the decision to post about another dealership’s embarrassing accident proved to be the employee’s downfall as the other dealership and his were owned by the same ownership.
Employers should be careful for two reasons: first, this may well be appealed to the NLRB and overturned. Second, the employer in this case thread an exceedingly thin needle to win. All other employers should not assume that they would be so lucky. Click to link to the case.