Em­ploy­ers, Be­ware of Neg­a­tive Re­views

The HR Digest - - Hr Drift -

Em­ploy­ers must be­ware of pro­duc­ing neg­a­tive re­view as it is pro­tected un­der the U.S. Em­ploy­ment law. Yelp, Inc., which is ac­cus­tomed to of­fer­ing a bad re­view rather than re­ceiv­ing one, has learnt its les­son fairly well. Re­cently, Talia Ben-ora, a cus­tomer ser­vice em­ployee at Yelp posted an open let­ter ad­dressed to the CEO on her blog, ex­press­ing her daily strug­gles due to low pay. Most parts of her let­ter in­cluded her re­marks dis­cussing ben­e­fits, salary, and fi­nan­cial chal­lenges faced by her and her co-work­ers.

Shortly af­ter this let­ter was posted, the com­pany ter­mi­nated her. The rea­son for ter­mi­na­tion stated by Yelp CEO was that due to her on­line post the com­pany wasn’t re­ceiv­ing pos­i­tive re­views.

The Na­tional Re­la­tions La­bor Board has be­come quite ag­gres­sive when it comes to pro­tect­ing the rights of an em­ployee to dis­cuss work­ing con­di­tions and wages in a pub­lic fo­rum. This is also ap­plied if the dis­cus­sion in­volves mak­ing deroga­tory re­marks for the em­ployer. Un­der the Na­tional La­bor Re­la­tions Act- Sec­tion 7, protest­ing la­bor poli­cies of em­ploy­ers or the way an em­ployer treats its em­ployee is con­tem­plated as pro­tected ac­tiv­ity and this sec­tion of pro­tec­tion ex­tends to em­ploy­ees who are non-union­ized as well.

This in­ci­dent, per­haps, the most bru­tal re­minder of the heavy con­se­quences that em­ploy­ers might have to face, both from a le­gal as well as pub­lic per­spec­tive, when it comes to ter­mi­nat­ing an em­ployee protest­ing wages on on­line plat­forms.

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