Employment Social Media
Employment Social Media
Weigand v. NLRB
, No. 14-1024 (D.C. Cir. April 17, 2015), available at http://hr.cch.com/ELD/WeigandNLRB.pdf
The lawsuit involved Charles Weigand, a non-union employee, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The parties were related regarding labor practices of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Weigand being the plaintiff, the NLRB being the defendant and U. S. Court of Appeals District of Colombia Circuit (the D. C. Circuit) being the arbitrator.
The D.C. Circuit had declined to hold the NLRB liable for failing to eliminate the contemptuous and purportedly threatening comments that were posted on a Facebook page that was maintained only by the members of the union. This case is related to the issue of employee retention as it serves as one of the many reasons that contribute to employees terminating their contracts with their employers (Weigand v. NLRB, 2015). In this case, Weigand, being a non-union member, felt that he
was not treated equally with the other employees who maintained membership in the NLRB. It is, therefore, possible that the employees who find themselves in such a position might, apparently, contemplate quitting their jobs for better working conditions or careers.
The court denied Weigand a chance to petition for reviewing the order given by the National Labor Relations Board to dismiss his charge. According to the court, there was little if no indication that the NLRB officials or their agents had posted the alleged contemptuous comments. It is further argued that in this case only union members could post or read comments on the Facebook page. The court was obliged to rule against the wish of the plaintiff citing the provisions of labor relations as well as the media regulations entrenched in the contemporary universal media laws.
Since the D. C. Circuit declined to delineate whether the acts of posting these controversial comments should be considered as a threat if the agents of the union had made them, it sets a precedent that, in future, union members may post any comments regardless of the insinuation. In fact, the court reiterated that the NLRB was never banned from ever finding a union member guilty of any unfair labor practice especially for posting a comment on closed internet locations (Weigand v. NLRB, 2015
). This will make future litigation more controversial as there might come a time when union members will post infuriating comments against fellow union members and the court will be in a compromising situation ruling the case.
Although the court made a ruling in favor of the NLRB, one remains to wonder whether the act of posting such demeaning comments would be lawful if the perpetrator had not necessarily posted them on a social media site. Besides, the question arises again regarding the perpetrator being exonerated for posting comments on a restricted Internet site. One wonders whether the court could have found the culprit culpable of a crime had he posted similar comments on the non-closed Internet site.
This case will be useful in my final paper since it will be listed among various circumstances that would compel an employee to seek the transfer from one organization to another. It will also be the basis for my argument against unfair rulings with which the plaintiffs had to learn to cope.
Sweet v. LinkedIn Corp, No. 5:14-cv-04531-PSG (N.D. Cal. April 12, 2014), available at http://hr.cch.com/ELD/SweetLinkedIn.pdf.
This suit comprised the U. S. District Court, Northern District of California arbitrating between the LinkedIn users and LinkedIn Corporation.
Certain employers viewed the social media accounts such as LinkedIn which harbors numerous job applicants as a way of assessing whether they would source better employees. Even after legal experts had cautioned that such employers might access critical information on applicants which could eventually form a basis for claiming having made employment resolutions on verboten grounds. It is for these reasons that some LinkedIns job applicants brought a suit against LinkedIn Corporation claiming to have been denied employment after the potential employers had made a step of contacting them resulted from identifying the potential employees through the LinkedIns Reference Search Function (Sweet v. LinkedIn Corp, 2014). This issue is related to the one selected in Week 1 as it reflects the aspirations that some job seekers usually have about other organizations. Particularly, many social media users in the contemporary society would browse sites on which they hope to get employment and even submit their credentials beforehand thinking that would work for them. Later, they come to be disillusioned when they learn that exposure of their personal information has indeed become their detriment.
The U. S. District Court, Northern District of California was compelled to overrule a presumed class action in line with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) raised by the LinkedIn users. Supposedly, a LinkedIn user had been denied chances of employment even after their potential employers whom they identified via the reference search function of the LinkedIn had contacted them. The court took the task of explaining in detail the reason why search results had not constituted a consumer report. According to the court, the reference information was derived exclusively from the LinkedIns transactions with the respective plaintiffs but not from a third party. In this case, LinkedIn was not regarded as a consumer-reporting agency under this Act (Sweet v. LinkedIn Corp, 2014). Besides, the court also argued that the list of conceivable references was neither used nor intended to be used during employment procedures.
Following the court ruling against the plaintiffs, it is probable that the decision has set a precedent that potential employers will keep misusing the information of job seekers on social media for their vested interest. It is possible that employment seekers will end up with much disappointment than ever before.
One remains to wonder what the court ruling could have been if the plaintiff and the defendant had exchanged positions. What if the employers were the ones who filed a suit claiming their information had been misused by potential employment seekers? This case would be seriously controversial.
This case will assist me in making a thorough diagnosis of several plights of employment seekers on social media. It will also send a signal of what to expect on the present-day media platforms while seeking employment.
Hannah v. Northeastern State University, No. CIV-14-074-RAW (E.D. Okla. February 5, 2015), available at http://hr.cch.com/ELD/HannahNortheastern.pdf.
The suit comprises of the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendants employed by the Northeastern State University together with the institution itself, and Leslie Hannah, the plaintiff. The complainant had been working with the defendants in the same department where claims of discrimination as well as hostilities are said to have occurred.
There were heated comments on Facebook lamenting that Hannah, a Native American, was made the Chair of the Language and Literature Department and several other Facebook posts on racism by some professors who got a chance to vote on the employees tenure (Hannah v. Northeastern State University, 2015). There is evidence that the vote was rejected, as there was prevalent hostility in the department. This issue is identical to the one that was selected in Week 1 since it is among several circumstances that drive employees out of a job.
Unfortunately, the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma denied summary judgment regarding the claim of a hostile work environment. Similarly, the retaliation claims of the employee also arose, partly since the posts on Facebook generated a causal link between the tenure denial and the plaintiffs initial complaints of racial discrimination.
The decision of the court may have set a wrong precedent that will trigger hostility among employers against employees of different races. For this reason, the future litigations are likely to be convoluted with such issues as media evidence of discrimination from social media which the courts may not be ready to validate.
This case leaves several questions unanswered as the court failed to substantiate the fate of the sadist employer of the Indian origin. One wonders why the court could not validate the plaintiffs claims even when there was explicit evidence about the heinous act of harassment and discrimination (Hannah v. Northeastern State University, 2015). Furthermore, it is unclear whether there were adjustments made in the University protocol.
This case will no doubt be useful in my final paper since it will form part of several cases that can frustrate the efforts of retaining employees in any given organizational department.