By Edwin S. Hopson
On February 7, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board announced that a complaint that had been issued against an ambulance service, American Medical Response of Connecticut, asserting that the company had unlawfully discharged one of its employees for posting a negative remark about a supervisor on her personal Facebook page had been settled.
The NLRB’s Hartford, Connecticut Regional Director had issued a complaint on October 27, 2010, drawing national attention.
The Board’s complaint had also alleged that the company’s handbook contained overly-broad rules in its employee handbook directed at blogging, Internet posting, and communications between employees. It also alleged that the company had illegally denied union representation to the employee during an investigatory interview.
Under the terms of the settlement approved by the NLRB’s Regional Director, the ambulance service, among other things, agreed to revise its handbook rules to eliminate improper restrictions on employee discussions regarding wages, hours and working conditions, both while at work and while away from work.
The company also agreed that future employee requests for union representation would not be denied and that employees would not be threatened with discipline for requesting union representation. The issue of the employee’s discharge was resolved through a separate, private agreement between the employee and the company, according to the NLRB’s press release.