NLRB Sides With Tucson Paper In Employee Firing

The National Labor Relations Board has found that an employee fired for posting “inappropriate” tweets didn’t have his labor rights violated, reports ABA Journal.

The reporter, formerly of the (Tucson) Arizona Daily Star, tweeted in 2010 criticizing one of the paper’s headlines. HR said to “discuss his concerns with colleagues rather than his Twitter audience” and the reporter’s boss told him “he should not make comments on social media that could damage the paper’s reputation.”

The reporter made no more social media comments about the newspaper, which, ABA Journal says, didn’t have a written social media policy though it encouraged staffers to use Twitter.

But later tweets, about Tucson’s homicide rates and criticizing other media outlets, landed him in hot water a second time.* His managing editor told him to stop Tweeting, so the reporter changed his screen name and protected his tweets. Still, he was fired a month later.

The NLRB said that the Daily Star did nothing wrong and that the charge should be dismissed.

By the way: the Tweet that started this all off? Pretty innocuous.
“The Arizona Daily Star’s copy editors are the most witty and creative people in the world. Or at least they think they are,” the reporter tweeted, in response to a sports headline that read “Shuck and Awe,” regarding the University of Arizona’s loss to the University of Nebraska.

August 27 – “You stay homicidal, Tucson. See Star Net for the bloody deets.”
August 30 – “What?!?!? No overnight homicide? WTF? You’re slacking Tucson.”
September 10 – “Hope everyone’s having a good Homicide Friday, as one Tucson police officer called it.”
September 19 – “My discovery of the Red Zone channel is like an adolescent boy’s discovery of his …let’s just hope I don’t end up going blind.”