(CNN) — Rants about your boss or your job may have once been reserved for during after-work drinks at a bar, but employee gripes are now being voiced in the social media sphere.
Workplace complaints posted on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace could get you fired. But one federal agency has taken an unusual step to protect one complaining worker.
The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against a Connecticut ambulance service company after it fired a worker for posting unflattering and sometimes vulgar comments about her boss on Facebook.
The organization accused the company of illegally terminating Dawnmarie Souza and denying her access to union representation during an investigatory review. The federal agency is arguing that Souza’s criticism of her boss on Facebook is generally “a protected concerted activity.”
But workers should still be wary about what they post on social media sites. About a quarter of employers surveyed by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics in 2009 had disciplined an employee for improper activities on social networking sites. If a worker posts something negative, and a manager finds it, he or she can legally be fired, some employment attorneys say.