Whether the NLRB wants to admit it or not, employers do indeed have a right to speak on the question of whether or not their employees should unionize. In fact, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, based in Philadelphia, last week rejected a request by the NLRB for an enforcement order and held that an employer’s tweet to employees was not an unfair labor practice as the agency alleged. In FDRLST Media, LLC v National Labor Relations Board, the court scolded the agency for not considering the employer tweet in context and then reinforced that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) also protects employer speech so long as it “contains no threat of reprisal or force of promise of benefit.” The case arose after the executive officer and Publisher of The Federalist (who had 80,000 followers on Twitter, including seven employees – 6 of whom were writers) posted the following tweet: “FYI @fdrlst first one of you tries to unionize I swear I’ll send you back to the salt mine.” Clearly, the tweet was satirical and no employees felt aggrieved nor threatened by it, but a resident of Massachusetts with no connection to the employer filed an unfair labor practice with the NLRB New York regional office and the NLRB issued a formal unfair labor practice complaint against The Federalist. The employer also sought to have the case dismissed because the charge was not filed by an “aggrieved party”, but the court rejected that argument and reaffirmed the principle that “any person” may file a charge with the NLRB, regardless of whether that individual was harmed or aggrieved by the alleged unfair labor practice. Call that a win and a warning for employers!