28 July 2015
28 July 2015,
 0

Caffarelli & Associates Ltd. attorney Alexis Martin was quoted in Law360 about a case that the NLRB brought on behalf of the firm’s client, Audelia Santiago.  Ms. Santiago was formerly employed by the Tinley Park Hotel and Convention Center LLC, which operates a Holiday Inn outside Chicago.  Ms. Santiago was fired after “selfie” photographs of her at work were posted to her Facebook account with the statement “working like an (sic) slave,” and after numerous employees and others commented on the photos.  The NLRB brought the case before an ALJ on the basis that Ms. Santiago’s conduct constituted protected, concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).  Finding in favor of Ms. Santiago, the Administrative Law Judge said Tinley Park Hotel’s policy on disloyalty, which formed the basis of her termination and included a prohibition on “making or publishing false or malicious statements” about the company, violates the NLRA because it could be interpreted to restrict activities protected under employees’ statutory right to organize.  “The board repeatedly has found similar language to be unlawful,” the judge wrote. “[The rule] reasonably could be construed to prohibit protected activity, such as co-workers discussing with one another the complaints they have about their supervisors.”  While indicating that she was “very pleased” with the ruling, Ms. Martin said that “[t]he opinion shows a very clear understanding of the problems that employees face in communication, the frequently blurred lines between personal and private lives, as well as the continuously developing role that technology plays in the way that people relate to one another.”  Read the full Law360 article by clicking here.  Download the Administrative Law Judge’s Opinion by clicking here.

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