Board ALJ Okays Facebook Firing: Ben James of Law 360 ($$) writes that last week, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge found that an employer was justified in terminating two employees due to a "profane" exchange of words over Facebook. In pertinent part, the ALJ noted that the employer was dependent on government and local funding and that such an exchange could negatively affect the employer’s ability to procure funds.
“Respondent was concerned that its funding agencies and the parents of its students would see the Facebook remarks. I find that Respondent could lawfully conclude that the actions proposed in the Facebook conversation were not protected under the Act and that the employees were unfit for further service,” said Tuesday’s decision.
While the ALJ noted that the two employees were technically discussing work issues and were thus engaged in "concerted activity," that activity was not protected because the conversation would have negatively affected the employer’s ability to secure grants. We will keep you posted on any possible appeals.
Seattle Walmart Workers Strike: Josh Eidelson of Salon reports that it is expected that workers at Seattle-area Walmart stores will walk off the job this morning and go on a one-day strike. There are rumblings that such one-day strikes will continue up and through Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that marks the official "holiday shopping season."
Today’s strike was purportedly organized by OUR Walmart, a non-union affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). We will keep you posted on any possible fallout from the strike action.
Board To Review Union Vote: John Flowers of the Addison County Independent reports that the National Labor Relations Board is expected to hold a hearing regarding ballots challenged in the Porter Medical Center union election. 72 nurses voted to form a union, while 58 opposed the petition. Interestingly, 16 ballots have been challenged, which could sway the vote in one direction or the other. The review process is expected to take at least a month. We will keep you posted.