AKRON — Have you ever wondered what an employer can legally do if an employee starts speaking negatively about the business on personal social media accounts?
What about if an employee starts speaking about wages on their Facebook page? Do you think these are means for reprimanding or even letting a person go? You may want to think again. I did an email interview with Brent Garrett, an attorney with Atlanta-based Fisher & Phillips L.L.P., about what the National Labor Relations Act protects online for employees. After our initial interview, I then did a follow up phone interview with him that you can listen to in the audio clip. Fisher & Phillips represents employers nationally in labor and employment matters and Mr. Garrett works at the firm's Irvine, Calif. office.
JK-R: What do you think is the biggest mistake a small business owner could make in regard to their employees and social media?
BG: “The biggest mistake is to react too quickly or purely out of anger. If an employer learns that an employee has made an intemperate or unkind social media post, the employer should take a deep breath before immediately moving to discipline. In other words, make sure all of your ducks are in a row from a liability standpoint before imposing discipline on the employee.”