People do stupid things on Facebook, like posting drunken photos or writing thoughtless wall posts. But should one's ignorant social media habits reflect on one's standing as a hard-working employee? More and more it looks like the answer to that is no, at least in the eyes of the law. In the most recent ruling, a judge found that a company had to hire back the employees it fired for complaining about work on Facebook, reports INC.com. "Administrative Law Judge Arthur J. Amchan said the employees' off-hours griping about their working conditions was protected by the National Labor Relations Act." The workers had whined about their jobs on Facebook and the law has found it doesn't matter--it seems that our online lives can't be used against us at work.
The decision marks the first time a court has ordered a company to stick its tail between its legs and rehire its ousted workers, but it's just a continuation of a trend that limits employer power over Facebook. People have gotten canned for rash Facebook postings, but the law has stepped in. Earlier this year, a settlement required the American Medical Response of Connecticut to revise its policies and lay off Facebook patrolling, reported ZDNet's Sam Diaz. "The NLRB had argued in its November 2010 filing that, under the National Labor Relations Act, employees are permitted to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment with co-workers and others--regardless of whether those conversations take place at the water cooler, in a bar after work or, yes, even on a Facebook page."