Alabama Employment Law Report
Facebook Reaches 1 Billion Users and NLRB Rules on Termination of Car Salesman
Facebook hits 1 Billion Users. When Facebook had it's IPO in May, it reported that it had 845 million monthly active users. Today, Mark Zuckerberg reported that FB hit the 1 Billion mark for monthly active users, 1/7th of the world's population. In May, it was also reported that FB had 2.7 billion likes/comments a day, 250 million photos uploaded on a daily basis, 100 billion "friendships" and 9.7 billion minutes a day were spent on FB. These numbers have grown since May. In comparison, as of June, Twitter had 500 million accounts, with over 100 million tweets a day, YouTube had 200 million views a day, LinkedIn had 150 million users and interest was growing in other SM sites, including Tumblr, PInterest and 4Square.
NLRB Rules on Termination of Salesman. Over the past 1 1/2 years, I have spoken many times and have always mentioned the case of the car salesman in Illinois who was fired after 2 posts on FB. The salesman had posted critical comments about a sales event: hot dogs were not good enough for the customers attending a large sales event at the BMW dealership he worked for. He was compensated in part on customer satisfaction surveys as well as the number of sales he made. He also posted pictures and comments around the same time about a vehicle accident at the adjoining Range Rover dealership, also owned by the same company who owned the BMW dealership. He was terminated after these posts were discovered by his employer. An Administrative Law Judge found that the comments about the sales event were protected concerted activity under the NLRA and he could not be terminated because of this. However, the ALJ also found that the posting about the Range Rover accident was not protected concerted activity, and thus found his termination was lawful.
Practice Pointer. The NLRB has been taking a very strong stance about policies and procedures involving the use of social media, and will continue to do so under the current administration. All companies should review their social media policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the NLRA. Because this is a very complicated, complex and nuanced area of the law, companies should consult their legal counsel in implementing and/or reviewing their SM policies.