Monday, May 23, 2011

Ariz. Reporter Fired for Tweets Gets the Bird in NLRB Ruling

Color logo of the National Labor Relations Boa...Image via WikipediaIn an 8-page Advice Memorandum in Lee Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a The Arizona Star (Case No. 28-CA-23267), the National Labor Relations Board ruled against a 10-year veteran police reporter for The Arizona Star whose Tweets resulted in his termination.

As reported by the American Bar Assn. Journal's Law News Now blog and the Delaware Employment Law Blog, the Star reporter was discharged because his superiors deemed his Tweets unprofessional and inappropriate. Influential in the NLRB's adverse ruling was that both a human resources official and the Star's managing editor had warned the reporter about his tweeting in 2010 that included a critique of one of the daily's headlines.

The reporter subsequently changed his Twitter id, removed some supervisors from his "followers" list and restricted access to his Tweets.  Still, he was fired after further complaints about his Tweets, including one from a local tv news station that the reporter ridiculed by noting a misspelling in a Retweet of a message from the station.

In ruling against him, the NLRB said the reporter "was terminated for writing inappropriate and offensive Twitter postings that did not involve protected concerted activity."

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