Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition


Quoted in article “Antisocial Networking Can Backfire”

Wisconsin Law Journal

Following is an excerpt:

An ongoing legal battle over whether a woman was improperly fired for criticizing her employer on Facebook will shed light on just what the boundaries of online communications are.

Employment lawyers say there are issues involved that won’t be resolved quickly – or easily. But at its most basic level, the case raises a high-tech version of the question of how to define an employee’s criticism of a company.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has claimed that American Medical Response of Connecticut Inc. illegally fired Dawnmarie Souza from her job as an emergency medical technician late last year after she criticized her supervisor on her personal Facebook page from home, then traded Facebook messages about the negative comments with other employees.

One of the potential defenses for the employer against the NLRB claim is that the comments were made solely on the employee’s behalf, rather than as a voiced concern for fellow workers, said Quarles & Brady employment attorney Sean M. Scullen.

Originally published in Wisconsin Law Journal, December 1, 2010

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