• November 29, 2023

Judge Rules Calling Your Boss a “Mother F***er” is Not Grounds for Firing

In 2011, Hernan Perez wroth this on his Facebook page:

‘Bob is such a NASTY MOTHER F***** don’t know how to talk to people!!!!!! F*** his mother and his entire f****** family!!!! What a LOSER!!!! Vote YES for the UNION!!!!!!!’

After discovering the entry, his boss,  Robert McSweeney, fired him.  Perez then sued and federal judges on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that his firing was unfair because no one had been fired for cursing before.  But if I were you you, I would not call my boss a “Mother F***er” just in case the ruling gets overturned.

He published the controversial post during his shift two days before the venue voted to unionize. Therefore, his post was considered union-related speech which is protected by the National Labor Relations Act.

The act, however, does not cover language which expresses scorn or criticism. The Second Circuit ruled Perez’s language did not constitute this and that firing him was an unfair labor practice. He would be allowed to press legal action against his former employer because of this.

The ruling said Perez’s ‘idiosyncratic reaction to a manager’s request but part of a tense debate over managerial mistreatment in the period before the representation election.’ 

The court ruling states the post’s f-bombs ‘were not a slur against McSweeney’s family but, rather, an epithet directed to McSweeney himself.’

The court also said because Perez did not think the post was public and he thought only his friends could see it, it did not constitute as an outburst. 

The National Labor Relations Act seeks to limit employers from firing or punishing employees from criticizing their workplace online.  

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