We all understand the importance of including a confidentiality clause in settlement, severance, and separation agreements. While nothing can prevent a departing employee from going on a conspicuous shopping spree or driving around town in a flashy new car with his/her settlement dollars or severance payment, employers want to avoid a situation where a former employee openly discloses the amount of a settlement or severance payment and encourages legal challenges by other employees who may have different circumstances than the employee receiving the payment and/or causing discord among current employees who feel cheated by the departing employee receiving a payment they do not believe the employee deserved. A recent Facebook mistake by the daughter of a plaintiff who settled a lawsuit with his former employer highlights the need for well drafted confidentiality clauses. In a story making news beyond just the human resources and legal circles, Dana Snay’s Facebook post cost her father his $80,000 settlement.
Continue Reading Daughter’s Facebook brag underscores the enforceability of confidentiality clauses in settlement and severance agreements

In another Facebook firing case, involving two separate terminations, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) ruled that a company violated and did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) after terminating employees for posting comments on Facebook.
Continue Reading One Facebook Firing Case. Two Terminations. NLRB Finds Only One Unlawful and Notes How It Treats Malicious and Untrue Posts

Following up on my recent post on the case, I had the chance to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding the New Jersey case in which the court ruled an employer could fire an employee for a Facebook update reported to them by the employee’s coworker and Facebook Friend. In the interview, I explain the basics of the case and what we can learn from it.
Continue Reading Video Interview: Discussing the “Frenemy” Facebook Firing Case with LXBN TV

Last week, another ALJ for the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision on a case involving an employee claim that he was unlawfully fired for comments made on a personal Facebook page. Though the ALJ upheld the employee’s termination, he also concluded that multiple employer policies were impermissibly over broad.
Continue Reading NLRB Upholds Facebook Firing but Finds Employer Policies Overbroad

Earlier this year, speculation and educated guesses gave way to NLRB General Counsel Advice Memoranda on how the NLRB will address unfair labor practice charges challenging so-called Facebook firing cases. Now we have our first charge that actually has gone to hearing and resulted in an Administrative Law Judge decision.

In Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc., the employer, a not-for-profit corporation that renders social services to economically deprived residents of Buffalo, New York, terminated five employees for their comments on Facebook after a co-worker had raised concerns about the job performance of other HUB employees. Apparently concerned that the co-worker would bring her concerns to management, one of the five employees posted the following on her Facebook page:

[Co-worker] feels that we don’t help our clients enough at HUB I about had it!
My fellow coworkers how do u feel?

Continue Reading First “Facebook Firing” Case Decided by NLRB Administrative Law Judge