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Worker Rights Extend To Facebook, Says NLRB 340

Posted by timothy
from the ends-at-my-nose dept.
wjousts writes "American Medical Response of Connecticut had a policy that barred employees from depicting the company 'in any way' on Facebook or other social media. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that this policy runs afoul of the National Labor Relations Act, which gives employees the right to form unions and prohibits employers from punishing workers for discussing working conditions."
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Worker Rights Extend To Facebook, Says NLRB

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:53AM (#34184918)

    Few health and safety regulations? Have you ever even heard of OSHA? They are so strict it's ridiculous, $10,000 per rung for the ladder you're standing at the very top of, oh yes, no regulations you say. Also there are mandated breaks and work hour restrictions enforced by the Department of Labor, however some jobs fall into categories that have exceptions to the common rules, most don't. And if you need mandated sick leave, may I suggest perhaps showing the fuck up to work once in a while? Not getting paid is an incentive to bring your sorry ass back.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:55AM (#34184936)

    No holiday time, no sick leave, no maternity leave, no restrictions on hours worked, no mandated breaks, few health and safety regulations, can be fired without notice or reason, can legally discriminate, etc. It is like working in the third world. Between this and health care the US is low on my list of places I wish to work.

    Dude, you want to pull that head out of your ass?

    No holiday time, no sick leave

    I'll give you the sick leave, but that's because almost everyone blows it on 3-day weekends, and never gets used for the intended purpose.

    no maternity leave, no restrictions on hours worked, no mandated breaks, few health and safety regulations

    FMLA + OSHA, I'll let you look up those two. There are restrictions on hours worked and mandated breaks for non-exempt employees.

    can be fired without notice or reason

    Yeah, this sucks, and it's called at-will employment, but not all states are like this.

    can legally discriminate

    Really? REALLY? Just because it happens and people can get away with it doesn't mean it's legal.

  • by RobertLTux (260313) <(robert) (at) (laurencemartin.org)> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:56AM (#34184946)

    it depends on the exact job but most of what you are claiming is in fact false
    No holiday time,: Most jobs will have some vacation time after a year or so
    no sick leave, : Most jobs have a block of "personal days"
    no maternity leave,: Its unpaid but required by the Family Medical Leave Act http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/index.htm [dol.gov]
    it unpaid but present
    no restrictions on hours worked,: this gets a bit squishy but in an hourly job everything above 40 hours in a week gets paid time and a half and there is some stuff related to salaried jobs
    no mandated breaks,: most states will have either custom or actual law on this point
    few health and safety regulations, : ever hear of something called OSHA?? (this may hook into the break thing also)

  • by thijsh (910751) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @08:58AM (#34184970) Journal
    Let's see:
    - Is an employee considered property, or an 'asset'?
    - Can an employee be forced to do labor?
    - Does an employee who does not want to do said labor walk away?

    And now consider these questions knowing that the majority of people can't just quit his/her job (the ob(li)vious answer)... If 'running away' and living on the street is your only escape you are a slave by my definition.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:11AM (#34185078)
    In the US, a British teen was banned [slashdot.org] from the US forever for calling the President a prick, go figure.
  • by silentcoder (1241496) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @09:18AM (#34185122) Homepage

    This would be the Republic of South Africa.

    What makes it a third world country is this: 43% unemployment, 76% illiteracy, 82% of the population living below the official poverty line (that is below taxable income, with welfare sustainance from the other 18% - who earn salaries comparable to Europe - in fact most of us work for European countries who find they can pay us solid market related salaries and still save truckloads of money because of the favorable exchange rate).

    We have massive poverty, massive problems of all sorts to deal with. But our government relies for it's vote massively on the unions who include most of that 82% poor people as members, if the unions ever tell their members to vote for the opposition - this government couldn't possibly survive an election.
    Result: damn good labour laws, regardless of whether you are in the rich 18% or the poor 82%

  • by buckadude (926560) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:02AM (#34185418)
    that is exactly correct. it is called a concerted protected activity!
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:14AM (#34185526) Homepage Journal

    It must, in turn, be your bosses freedom to fire you, if the personal differences run too deeply, right?

    There are in fact worker protection laws. You can't be fired (legally, at least) "just because". They have to have a valid reason.

    Didn't anybody even read the summary??? The NLRB ruled that the boss can't fire you without just cause, and that trashing the boss on facebook isn't "just cause". They need a valid reason, like habitual lateness, no call no show, theft, drug use, etc.

    That doesn't mean that the boss can't plant cocaine in your desk or child porn on your computer and have you arrested, then fire you. It just means he can't do it legally.

  • by ptbarnett (159784) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:21AM (#34185574)

    With very few exceptions, no employee consent is ever required as part of a merger/sale/takeover/bankruptcy.

    If employees own a substantial percentage of the stock, it's required.

    The purchasing company can also require that a high percentage of employees accept the offer to work for them before the sale is completed. And no, that's not hypothetical.

  • by dwinks616 (1536791) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @10:22AM (#34185590) Homepage
    You'd be lucky if all they did was harass you. They have been known to KILL people: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_McPherson

    I could find other people they've killed, but I'm at work and have better things to do.
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @11:38AM (#34186398)

    A distinction that's lost on many people is that "freedom of speech" in the US legal system applies to the government, not private entities.

    A distinction that is lost on many people (including, all too often, the US courts) is that corporations are, in point of fact, creatures of government, not independently-existing private entities. The only independently-existing private

  • by KhabaLox (1906148) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @01:29PM (#34187902)

    But the law in reality does not say that this is the case.

    Actually, it does. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Labor_Relations_Act [wikipedia.org] The law "limits the means with which employers may react to workers in the private sector [that engage in some "free speech" activities]."

  • by s73v3r (963317) <`s73v3r' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @02:04PM (#34188262)

    Compare all those "benefits" to pretty much everywhere else in the developed world. You'll find the US is sorely lacking.

  • by xero314 (722674) on Wednesday November 10, 2010 @03:27PM (#34189142)

    I currently work 80 hours a week for two weeks straight, then take two full weeks off.

    Unless you happen to work in a job where a larger portion of your reported hours is time spent resting (e.g. On Duty Emergency Services personnel), then who ever is paying you is making a huge mistake.

    The 40 hour work week did not grow out of any workers rights movement, It came from a study in productivity. This initial study showed that productivity drop over the long run if employees worked greater than 36 hours a week. Since there have been many further studies showing that working higher number hours reduces productivity.

    In your case (with the exception listed above) you are working at less than 70% efficiency and possibly as low as 50% efficiency. Meaning your employer (even if you are self employed) is getting no more than 56 hours of actual productive work for every 80 hours you work. If your hours were cut to 40 hours and a second employee was added who also worked 40 hours (assuming the task can be partitioned as such) your employer would get at least and additional 24 hours of productivity per week.

    The situation gets far worse if you are a knowledge worker, such as an engineer, as you will actually reach negative productivity if your working long enough hours (You end up making costly mistakes rather than producing anything of value).

    You can start here [unl.edu] for reference.

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