By Joyce Lain Kennedy


Not only is my boss a miserable micromanager, but he never accepts the blame when something goes wrong -- it's always someone else's fault. I'm out of patience and ready to get out. I plan to do a job search by tweeting (through) Twitter. I will ask my followers to re-tweet my urgent need to get away from this horrible job and ugly boss to their followers, and ask everyone to tell me about any opening they hear about. I need my paychecks. Can I get fired for going online and dissing my boss? -- B.B.


New development

While it's never a good idea to stick your thumb in your boss's eye, the earth may be moving beneath America's feet. Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) launched what lawyers are calling a groundbreaking case in accusing an ambulance service of illegally firing an emergency medical technician.

The employee ripped her supervisor on her Facebook page, blasting him on her own time, on her own computer. Coworkers threw in their two cents, agreeing with the EMT.


The labor board is an independent agency created by Congress to administer the 1935 National Labor Relations Act. The board, whose members are appointed by the president, is better known for matters involving unions, but the NLRB has the power to settle labor disputes between companies and employees. In short, the NLRB operates a big jackhammer in labor land and is using it to argue that workers' criticism of their managers or companies on a social networking site is a protected activity. The board says that employers violate the law by punishing workers for skewering their bosses or coworkers on sites like Facebook. (Google "Company Accused of Firing Over Facebook Post" by Steven Greenhouse.)


How serious is the NLRB complaint? Serious enough that a major law firm immediately advised its hundreds of client companies to review Internet and social media policies to be sure they're not vulnerable to legal complaints of chilling employees' rights to discuss wages, working conditions and unionization.

An administrative law judge is scheduled to begin hearing the case of the terminated EMT in January. Regardless of how this case turns out, the issue of free employee speech online is not going to go away.


Whatever emerges on this issue, publically bashing your boss as a prelude to looking for a new job is the action of a nincompoop. Treat your tweet with positive reasons why you're ready to seek new opportunities.



I'm planning to get a job working days and continue my education online at night. But I want to be sure I'm not wasting my time or money in choosing the school I attend. I've heard about accreditation for schools, but I'm not sure I really understand it. What's the deal? -- K.R.


Accreditation is a very big deal. It means an educational institution has been tested and found worthy by experts. It means you can expect to get what you pay for and that employers won't laugh at your credential. Diploma mills are never accredited by legitimate accrediting bodies.

Consider only educational institutions that are accredited, whether you're going to a vocational school, college, or graduate or professional school -- on campus or online.

As a starting point, read a free new leaflet from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, "Ask Before You Decide: Accreditation Matters." Get a copy from the Distance Education and Training Council (; in the left-hand column, click: New CHEA Publication Accreditation Matters.

While you're there, move to the right-hand column and click on another free publication: "Exploding the Myths of DECA Accreditation."

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