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  • Fired for Facebook Post

    It seems there is a nebulous place around what’s appropriate for social media postings, especially when using a personal Facebook page to excoriate an employer. Where does company policy end and 1st Amendment rights begin?

    It seems that there is a nebulous place between what’s appropriate or not for social media postings, especially when it comes to using a personal Facebook page to excoriate an employer.

    It’s one thing to reprimand or fire someone for an inappropriate post if it’s about the employer, on the employers Facebook page or using their computer to do so, but what happens when you do these things on your own personal computer?

    When does company policy end and First Amendment rights begin, and what right does an employer have of intentionally scouring employee Facebook pages to check for insubordination? Very murky area, and an incredibly sensitive one as well.

    In the Huffington Post article, Facebook Firings: Feds, Managers Navigate ‘New Territory’ In Employment, Dave Jamieson describes this new phenomenon that looks to create misunderstanding and potentially lawsuits.

    Jamieson states, “The federal agency tasked with enforcing labor law has been fielding complaints from workers across the country who have been fired or disciplined for their work-related indiscretions on Facebook. Although the feds have taken up the cases of a number of jaded workers, others have essentially been told they have no one to blame for their workplace troubles but themselves.”

    My suggestion to all Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals members: if you need the job – check your emotions and find a more innocuous way to handle it.  These posts follow you for a very long time, and you might lose the next job, after they do their due-diligence, and find out that you were engaged in vitriolic commentary with your former employer.  Your posting might not be the asset it feels like in the moment: think it through, and when in doubt – do no harm.

    Good Luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals
    calvin.wilson1@verizon.net
    http://twitter.com/Upstart__Nation

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