Social Media

Chipotle can no longer fire employees for complaining on Twitter

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Chipotle employees, tweet your hearts out.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Chipotle can't fire employees for airing their grievances with the company on Twitter or other social networks. More than that, the company can't prohibit employees from posting about their jobs on social media at all.

Chipotle's social media policy, which prevented employees from posting disparaging information about the company, violated federal labor laws, the board decided.

The question came up when a Chipotle worker in Havertown, Pa. was fired after tweeting about low wages and circulating a petition about employees' breaks online, according to Philly.com.

When a customer tweeted to thank Chipotle for a free meal in January 2015, Chipotle employee James Kennedy responded, "Nothing is free, only cheap #labor. Crew members only make $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?"

Kennedy later deleted the tweet, but he still ended up getting fired.

Now, Chipotle has to offer to hire him back and pay him back wages.

But the burrito chain also has to totally revamp its social media policies. It can't have a "social media code of conduct" that prevents employees from posting false, disparaging or inaccurate information.

Also found illegal were policies prohibiting employees from circulating petitions, from solicitation during working hours and from discussing politics within the context of work at Chipotle.

It even has to post signs saying that its policies were found illegal and have been changed.

So, Chipotle employees are basically free to do as they please online. Watch out, @ChipotleTweets.

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