Car Salesman Loses Case Against Dealership After Being Fired for his Facebook Posts
Robert Becker, a Chicago area BMW car salesman, has lost a case contending that the dealership improperly fired him for his Facebook posts. The case, which was brought up on unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board, was focused on sarcastic comments Becker made about his employer on his personal Facebook page.
For example, in one post Becker posted pictures of a sales event where water and hotdogs were served. He made fun of the cheap food that was served and claimed it sent the wrong message to potential clients. He also made the remark that “he was happy to see that the employer had gone all out for the party.”
In another instance, Becker posted photos of an adjacent dealership where an accident had taken place. A salesperson had allowed a 13-year-old boy to drive one of the cars and the boy had driven it into a pond. The message Becker placed underneath the photo was: “This is your car: This is your car on drugs.”
The argument made on behalf of Becker was that he was simply vocalizing the concerns of his co-workers and that he was merely engaging in protected speech. The judge assigned to the case ruled that the first example concerning the picnic food was protected but the incident involving the car accident was not. The judge contended that the accident photos were posted “apparently as a lark, without any discussion with any other employee of the respondent, and had no connection to any of the employees’ terms and conditions of employment.”
This story was originally reported here.