Employer was found to have terminated an employee in violation of the National Labor Relations Act when the employee used email and social media to try and start a union. Pflantzer was fired after he contacted other employees about starting a union and posted on a closed facebook page for NYC Tour Guides and sent an email to old co-workers from another tour guide company with specific complaints about his employer. The email and the posts on facebook were protected speech because they discussed the efforts the employee made to create a union, why the union was needed, and that the right to unionize is protected. The fact that the employee used email and social media as the forum does not diminish the right to form a union. Additionally, the judge determined that the statements made by the employee were accurate and so the employer could not say it fired the employee for lying about the company.
See New York Party Shuttle, LLC, WL 417865 N.L.R.B. (2012); see also National Labor Relations Act §7, §8(a)(1)(3); C.S. Telecom, 336 NLRB 1193, fn. 3(2001); Acme Bus Corp., 320 NLRB 458, 479 (1995); Approved Electric Corp. 356 NLRB No. 45 (2010).
(Development authored by Heather Lothrop)