Tough Questions: Fired for posting on Facebook - WNEM TV 5

Tough Questions: Fired for posting on Facebook

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A warning about what you post on your social media page.

A local woman made the mistake of venting her workplace frustrations on Facebook.

But should a person lose their job for airing their dirty laundry on a site that can be found with a click of a mouse? It depends on who you ask.

Gripes against your boss or your job aren't uncommon.

In fact, venting about your workplace while around the watercooler may be a bit healthy.

Anita Granger learned it the hard way - it's not just big brother that's watching.

The decision came as a shock she says. She spent years working as a cashier for a popular Mid-Michigan big box store. Granger says managers terminated her after discovering she had been posting complaints about the store on her personal Facebook page.

But she says she's not taking the firing lying down. She's fighting back.

Granger may have a recent ruling on her side as she battles back. WNEM discovered the National Labor Relations Board recently decided employers can not censure all the social media comments of their employees. Their reasoning, if employees can say something at the office water cooler, they should also be able to say it in social media.

Saginaw area attorney Gary Patterson is an expert on labor management relations. He says workers may have won a round in the NLRB but it isn't exactly an open door for employees to post anything they want about their boss.

"Employees are free to use social media sites to engage in what the NLRB refers to as, protected activity, that is the right to organize, join, and assist, the right to discuss wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment," Patterson said. "Our rule is intended to ensure that you're not using it inappropriately to interfere with the workplace, that is such things as bullying, harassment, discrimination, those sort of things, then the NLRB is gonna say termination under that rule is OK."

So what is totally off limits? Calling someone at work a racial slur or perhaps threatening violence in the workplace.

Granger has filed a claim with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming she was unfairly fired.

It will be up to that federal agency to investigate her termination and determine whether she should be reinstated.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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