Conn. company settles Facebook firing case

Posted Feb. 8 at 11:48 a.m.

A Connecticut ambulance service that fired an employee for posting negative Facebook comments about her boss has settled with the former worker, resolving a case that was poised to test new legal ground in labor law.

In October, National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against American Medical Response of Connecticut over the firing of Dawnmarie Souza. A hearing had been scheduled for this week.

The case received widespread attention for its groundbreaking attempt to set legal limits on employers’ Internet policies.

The NLRB said the company’s Internet posting policy was “overly broad” and “contained unlawful provisions.” The complaint called out a specific policy that prohibited employees from making negative remarks on the Internet about the company or its employees.

The NLRB said that policy violated the National Labor Relations Act, which gives employees the right to discuss “the terms and conditions of their employment with others.”

As part of the settlement, the ambulance service said it would revise its policies so they do not “improperly restrict” employees from discussing their employment outside of work.

The allegations involving Souza’s firing were resolved in a separate agreement. Details were not disclosed.

The company did not respond to requests for comment.

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