Philadelphia Employment Law News

AMR Settles Dawnmarie Souza's Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

Many Philadelphians may have heard about wrongful termination case involving Dawnmarie Souza, who claimed she was unlawfully fired from her job at an ambulance company in December 2009 and denied union representation. She was terminated after posting negative comments about her supervisor on her Facebook page.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint against the American Medical Response of Connecticut in October 2010. The board contended that Souza was "engaged in concerted activities with other employees" when she criticized and complained about her supervisor on Facebook.

Now,according to CNET News, AMRdecided to settle the suit this month for an unspecified amount of money.

Under the conditions of the settlement, the company agreed to modify its “overly broad rules” in the employee handbook about how employees can communicate online and talk about their work conditions with their coworkers. AMR also consented to not punishing their employees for asking for union representation.

Dawnmarie Souza’s case raised the controversial question of whether employers have the right to discipline their employees for any posts or comments written on social-networking sites.

AMR had initially argued that Souza’s Facebook comments were not protected activity on the internet, but the NLRB responded that firing Souza from her job actually violated the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRA permits workers to discuss the conditions and terms of their job with coworkers and other people.

To learn more about your legal options in a case like this, meet with a Philadelphia employment lawyer who can assess your case and determine what legal remedies may be applied. For general information on employee rights and wrongful termination, visit the Related Resources links.

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