Thomson Reuters Being Sued for Reprimanding Employee Over Tweets

Be careful when asking your employees to tell you what they really think in a public space.

A supervisor at Thomson Reuters invited employees to post about how to make Reuters the best place to work, the New York Times reports. Deborah Zabarenko, Reuter’s environmental reporter in Washington and the head of the Newspaper Guild, sent the following tweet: “One way to make this the best place to work is to deal honestly with Guild members.”

Well, could be worse, right? But then the next day Zabarenko received a call at home from the bureau chief:

He told me that Reuters had a policy that we were not supposed to say something that would damage the reputation of Reuters News or Thomson Reuters. I felt kind of threatened. I thought it was some kind of intimidation.

Really, really bad move on behalf of Reuters, as Zabarenko was not in fact intimidated, and decided to step forward. Now the National Labor Relations Board is suing Reuters on the grounds that it violated her right to discuss working conditions, and everyone knows about the story, and whether or not there is a cause of action here, Reuters just looks evil.

Publish date: April 7, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT