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Legally Badmouthing Your Employer

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We’ve heard the advice: anything you post online about your employer can get you fired. Yeah. Only that’s not exactly true.

Isn’t the rule that If you say anything bad about your workplace you do it at your own risk? That is a good rule. But it’s not exactly the law.

The National Labor Relations Act gives employees of private workplaces the right to talk to each other about the terms and conditions of their employment and to bargain collectively. And you have the right to talk about your work conditions even if there’s no union at your workplace.

In a series of recent decisions, the National Labor Relations Board has said that is true whether you’re standing at the watercooler or chatting online and so you can’t be fired for talking about your working conditions. That said, you’re not protected if you say or post harassing, discriminatory, or threatening things and the law only protects employees, not managers or supervisors.

And, that said, no matter what your lawyer would say remember what your mother would say. Ask if what you’re going to say about a person is something you’d be comfortable saying to that person.

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