Feds: Workers illegally fired over Facebook posts

By SAM HANANEL | May 18, 2011 | 6:13 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal labor regulators say a New York nonprofit illegally fired five employees after they went on Facebook to criticize working conditions.

The National Labor Relations Board alleges that Hispanics United of Buffalo violated federal law, which allows employees to talk with co-workers about their jobs and working conditions without reprisal.

The employees had posted comments defending themselves against a co-worker's claim that they weren't doing enough to help the organization's clients. The nonprofit claims the comments constitute harassment of a co-worker.

In a similar case in February, the NLRB warned employers that workers have a right to discuss their jobs with co-workers on Facebook and other social media.