Thank you NLRB!

8 11 2010

This may look small at first glance, but it strikes me that it might be revolutionary in every workplace, including academia. From the NYT:

In what labor officials and lawyers view as a ground-breaking case involving workers and social media, the National Labor Relations Board has accused a company of illegally firing an employee after she criticized her supervisor on her Facebook page.

This is the first case in which the labor board has stepped in to argue that workers’ criticisms of their bosses or companies on a social networking site is generally a protected activity and that employers would be violating the law by punishing workers for such statements.

So the fine folks at College Misery might be able to drop the cloak of anonymity. Big deal. Here’s the part that gets me excited:

The board’s complaint prompted Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, a law firm with a large labor and employment practice representing hundreds of companies, to send a “lawflash” advisory on Monday to its clients, saying, “All private sector employers should take note,” regardless “of whether their work force is represented by a union.”

The firm added, “Employers should review their Internet and social media policies to determine whether they are susceptible to an allegation that the policy would ‘reasonably tend to chill employees’ ” in the exercise of their rights to discuss wages, working conditions and unionization.

[Emphasis added]

Who better than academics than to begin to plot a workplace revolution online, particularly if they teach there anyways? The same technology that speeds you work up might be able to slow your work down too if you use it to your own ends rather than your employer’s.


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