Many of us consider Facebook and other forms of social media to be critical avenues for self-expression. We use these tools to share our ideas and genuinely held beliefs – it is part of our rights and duties as Americans.
However, what happens when your boss sees some of your posts and think they reflect badly on the company? Does your employer have the right to fire you for what you post on social media?
This April, a woman was caught on camera giving a lewd hand gesture to the president’s motorcade, as reported by CNBC.com. This is arguably an immature and disrespectful gesture, but does it justify getting fired from her job?
In fact, that is exactly what happened. The picture went viral and the woman was fired when she told her employer that she was the one in the photograph.
She then filed a lawsuit against her employer, saying “I believe that Americans should not be forced to choose between their principles and their paychecks.”
When Can You Be Fired for Social Media Posts?
Although there is an argument to be made that Americans should have unlimited liberty in social media posting, with no negative consequences in their workplaces, the reality is that the employers do have some rights to protect their interests.
Some forms of speech are protected, and some interests of the employers are protected. Each case represents its own challenge.
If you have been fired or demoted because of something you posted on social media, you could have a case. The best thing to do is talk with a lawyer right away. It takes the knowledge of an experienced employment lawyer to help determine whether you have a case and to get you the compensation you deserve if your rights have been violated.