Woman says she was fired partly due to private Facebook page

ONTARIO, Ore., (KBOI) - An Ontario woman recently lost her job and says her boss told her it was partly due to Facebook.

"I was mortified, I was so angry and upset and immediately I was going through the people on my friends list who could have shown it to them," says Marci Brabb, who worked at the Oregon Natural Market.

Brabb says there was an incident in which she refused to rake leaves around the Oregon Natural Market property after a windy day. She says she figured she might get in trouble, but she received more of shock when she was called into the office.

"They had a folder and it had pages and pages of my Facebook page, my personal Facebook page just printed out and stapled together," she says.

Brabb says she would use Facebook to vent.

She says she never used her company's name or the name of anyone who worked there. Even though her privacy settings were high, her boss got a hold of her posts and told her she was slandering the company.

"I figured it was just some way to get if off my chest, I didn't use any bad language or anything like that, I was just having kind of a rough time," Brabb says about her Facebook posts.

Brabb's boss, Micahel Chase of the Oregon Natural Market, declined to talk to KBOI 2News on camera. We did speak with him and he said Brabb was fired for other reasons. He did confirm he had a file of Brabb's posts.

This story raised many questions about an employee's rights on their personal Facebook page so, we went to Lisa McGrath, a new media attorney in Boise.

McGrath explained how the National Labor Relations Act actually protects some social network activity. The act prohibits employers from disciplining or firing people for their protected "concerted activity."

Concerted activity refers to an employee's right to discuss wages, hours, and working conditions with co-workers and others.

"They want them to be able to talk about if there are oppressive conditions from supervisors, how do they feel about their wages, that act gives them the right to talk about those things together," McGrath says of the National Labor Relations Board.

McGrath explained the National Labor Relations Act applies to all employees at companies with interstate commerce valued at more than $50,000, even if the company is not unionized.

McGrath stresses it's very important to know your rights, while Brabb now looks to share an important lesson.

"Make sure your privacy settings are on and just be careful," she says.