The dismissal of two unionized employees for comments made about managers on Facebook has been upheld by the British Columbia Labour Relations Board. The case is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada.
While working for a car dealership in Pitt Meadows, B.C., the two left defamatory messages on Facebook. According to Canadian Press reports, they slagged their employer, accused the business of being crooked and made suggestions about committing acts of violence against managers.
Some of the postings were made from a workplace computer, and one of the dealership managers was Facebook “friends” of the two employees when some of the postings were made.
The car dealership had recently been organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers. One of the employees was an active organizer, the other a supporter of the union. The UFCW claimed the employees’ union activity played a role in their dismissal.
In its decision, the B.C. Labour Relations Board said it did find the timing of the decision to start tracking employees’ Facebook postings “puzzling or suspicious.”
But the board still found the terminations justified, and dismissed suggestions the employees’ Facebook accounts may have been tampered with.