With Facebook passing the 750 million member mark and other social media such as Google + gaining members at a rapid pace, it is becoming common for employees to be “friends” or connected with co-workers and even their supervisors. Therefore, it should be no surprise that more and more employees are being fired over their social media posts.
As reported by the Huffington Post, some of these fired workers are fighting back as over 100 claims have been filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
The rules of when companies can discipline or terminate employees for social media posts are still being developed. However, general principles of employment law indicate the more the offending post talks about employee rights protected by law (i.e. discrimination or wage and break requirements or complaining about the employer’s illegal activities) and the more the terminated worker has discussed the issue-at-hand with co-workers, the more likely the fired employee has a valid case. Also, if the employee is covered by a contract or company policy, that could limit the company’s ability to terminate over a social media posting. In addition, some companies may have crossed the line in violating an employee’s right of privacy in its review of the employee’s social media posts.
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