In today’s social media-driven society, with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in particular, it seems that people have less of an issue with being candid on social media sites—especially when it comes to voicing their feelings about their employers and coworkers. While this may seem like harmless venting, it could very well result in your getting fired. Here’s what you need to know about what you can say on social media grounds and whether or not you can being fired for it.
Determine if the post is connected to your work. If so, this is a potential violation of company policy and grounds for termination. In other words, the first thing you want to do is determine whether or not what you said or did was a fireable offense. If it wasn’t, don’t worry about it. Be mindful of how your posts will affect others as well as how they may look when shared by people outside of your network. If an employer comes across questionable content and wants to terminate an employee for violating its policies, even if it has nothing to do with the person’s employment duties, courts have generally supported these decisions so long as the employer follows proper procedures e.g., gives a warning.
How many people have lost their jobs over things they’ve said online?
The bottom line is that many people have lost their jobs over things they’ve said online. They have been disciplined, disciplined and terminated, or terminated. In the most egregious cases, they have been prosecuted. And in some states, employers can require workers to sign non-disparagement agreements (NDA) as a condition of employment. Use caution when posting about your job and workplace on social media channels. You may be thinking that you’re only talking to friends or family on these platforms, but anything posted publicly is accessible by everyone, including prospective employers. Moreover, if you are saying something using your company name, if it’s good then there is no issue however, it adds a plus point in company reputation in a competitive market. However, if you are writing something bad for the company it will lower the company reputation and your act will directly violate the company policies.
Knowing your rights under US laws
It is generally against the law for employers to retaliate by terminating, or otherwise retaliating against, employees who oppose unlawful practices that they reasonably believe contribute to a violation of the law. Therefore, an employer may not terminate an employee based on what they post in their public space. If the post is relevant to your work if this is the case, you may be in breach of company policy and subject to termination.
Is it possible to get fired for posting political content on social media?
Yes, people have been fired from their jobs for speaking out or posting against the company. However, this is not always the case. You should contact your employer and inquire about what they believe is appropriate and unacceptable behavior regarding their company or industry. The best way to be sure that something doesn’t get you fired is to not do it at all. If you are an employee, don’t post anything that may put yourself or your company in a bad light. If you are an employer looking to hire someone, ask them if they have posted anything online that would reflect poorly on the company before you hire them. Social media can be a useful tool but use it wisely so as not to ruin yourself.
Is the First Amendment protecting you when you post on social media?
The First Amendment, along with the Constitution as a whole, protects us from being silenced by the government. However, when we’re not at work or speaking in a public forum, our freedom of speech rights come with restrictions and obligations. You are free to speak about anything that is not related to your job. If you make disparaging remarks about your boss or co-workers, then it may be grounds for termination depending on how egregious the remarks are and how much they affect your ability to do your job. There is also a responsibility for all employees either public or private to maintain confidentiality regarding company trade secrets, sensitive business information, etc., so be careful what you post.
The truth is that most employers probably care more about what their employees do at work than they do about their employees’ online personalities. But it doesn’t hurt to be careful and follow the ground rules of your employer’s guidelines for using social media. And don’t forget that if you are looking for a new job, the things you post in your time could come back to haunt you if a potential employer searches your name online. When in doubt, err on the side of caution when posting anything on social media that could be seen as controversial or inappropriate regarding your company..
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Who gets fired for their social media posts?
What you say online can potentially hurt your chances of getting hired, so it’s important to be cautious and stick to appropriate topics that won’t put you in hot water with potential employers or colleagues. Some people don’t seem to understand the risk they’re taking when they use such platforms as their soapbox, especially when posting inappropriate statements about a company or their employees, as by doing this you are violating policies and company laws.
2. How employers are monitoring social media
Many employers are now checking the social media accounts of their employees. This is done with or without the consent of the employee. Employers have found that by reviewing an employee’s online presence, they have been able to predict things like performance and missed days at work. If a post seems out of character with the rest of its behavior, it can raise a red flag for employers.