We have two employees who post their grievances about their supervisor on Facebook to each other and the world at large, We understand that laws give them the freedom to complain about their supervisor to each other, but they post photos of his face next to mocking statements and photos in which they’re wearing our company’s logo, thus bringing our company’s name into their private venting. Does this give us an avenue for terminating these employees?
No – unless they’re discriminating against or harassing their supervisor on the basis of age, sex, race, religion or another protected category. The National Labor Relations Board and Act, the same regulatory agency and legislation that gives employees the right to air their grievances to each other concerning wages and working conditions without fear of employer retaliation, states that employees have the right to use their company’s name and logo when engaging in this activity.
You can better protect your company from reputation damage with a well-written social policy that tells employees they have the right to voice concerns to each other and on social media, but asks them to do so in a manner that doesn’t damage the company’s reputation.
© Dr. Lynne Curry is author of ”Beating the Workplace Bully” and ”Solutions” as well as owner of the management/HR consulting/training firm The Growth Company Inc. Follow her on Twitter @lynnecury10 or at www.bullywhisperer.com.