Are employees who even mention the word “union” on employer-organized internal message boards protected under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935? “This is kind of a new frontier, a gray area,” Austin Garrido told me in a conference call with fellow former Uloop employee Sarah Doolittle last week. He and Doolittle claim they were fired after discussing unionization efforts at the college-focused social network. As their complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board continues to be investigated, one thing it could hinge on is if discussion about forming unions online is protected in the same way that posting a flyer in the company break room or chit-chat amongst coworkers on a shop floor…
No word so far from Uloop management, but I’m going to keep an eye out.
I’m definitely very curious to see how this one pans out. Union organization can take on a whole new meaning after this.