From The New York Times
As Facebook and Twitter become as central to workplace conversation as the company cafeteria, federal regulators are ordering employers to scale back policies that limit what workers can say online.
Employers often seek to discourage comments that paint them in a negative light. Don’t discuss company matters publicly, a typical social media policy will say, and don’t disparage managers, co-workers or the company itself. Violations can be a firing offense.
But in a series of recent rulings and advisories, labor regulators have declared many such blanket restrictions illegal. The National Labor Relations Board says workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook.
… The N.L.R.B. had far less sympathy for a police reporter at The Arizona Daily Star.
Frustrated by a lack of news, the reporter posted several Twitter comments. One said, “What?!?!?! No overnight homicide. … You’re slacking, Tucson.” Another began, “You stay homicidal, Tucson.”
The newspaper fired the reporter, and board officials found the dismissal legal, saying the posts were offensive, not concerted activity and not about working conditions.