Category Archives: Social Media

Social Media – “Exhibit A” in Litigation

A recent case from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania illustrates in vivid detail the potentially disastrous litigation consequences for employees of making ill-advised postings on social media, including Facebook.  It also illustrates the utility for employers of monitoring such postings for use in litigation, within appropriate legal boundaries. In Gumpher v. Unemployment Bd. of Review, No. 1735 C.D. 2016 (Pa. Cmwlth. Ct. Aug. 30, 2017), the Plaintiff had worked as a painter for Epic Metals Corporation for just under two years.  At the commencement of his employment, the Plaintiff, who was married and had numerous children, including one with special …


Workplace Now: The “Localization” of Employment Law – What you Don’t Know Can Hurt

It is no secret these days that many workforces, particularly over the last five years, are now subject to numerous state and municipal laws that seek to shape and regulate numerous areas of the workplace (many of which are often conflicting) .  Given the gridlock that has been in place for almost a decade in Congress, state legislatures and cities have accelerated their oversight of employers and have imposed their own laws. In fact, there are literally hundreds of examples of how the scope of local regulation has changed, but perhaps the most breath-taking took place this year in the …


A Recipe for Burrito Disaster: Twitter and the NLRA

In Havertown, Pennsylvania, Chipotle recently had some negative publicity and, for once, E. coli was not the culprit. Instead, James Kennedy, a 38-year-old war veteran, was terminated from Chipotle, after criticizing the company on Twitter and for circulating a petition in store regarding scheduled breaks. Kennedy sued, alleging that his termination violated the NLRA. One of Kennedy’s tweets contained a news article regarding hourly workers having to work on snow days while other workers were off. The tweet referenced Chipotle’s communications director, asking, “Snow day for ‘top performers’ Chris Arnold?” Another tweet involved a reply to a customer who tweeted …


“Like” It or Not, It’s Protected Activity Under the NLRA

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times:  “It’s employment at will in this state.  I can fire my employees for any reason or no reason at all.”  Well, if that “any reason” or “no reason” has something to do with social-media based condemnation of your company, you might want to think again before permanently “unfriending” your employee. This past week, the Second Circuit affirmed an NLRB ruling that an employee’s Facebook post criticizing her employer (the “Triple Play Bar and Grille”) in connection with its income tax withholding practices (trying to keep this post PG, but …


Proposed NJ “Facebook” Bill Will Challenge Employers

New Jersey employers will not “like” a so-called Facebook bill that’s pending in the New Jersey Legislature. The bill, which will likely pass, illustrates the trend towards limiting employers’ use of social media for hiring and firing decisions. In its current form, the bill (A-2878) would prohibit employers from requiring a current or prospective employee to provide or disclose any user name or password, or in any way provide the employer access to a personal account or service through an electronic communications device.