Can You Be Fired for What you Post on Social Media? Yes!
UNDATED -- You don't have to spend much time on social media to know that it can be a very ugly place with a lot of polarizing views and comments. But, you may want to think twice before you like, share or join the conversation because it could cost you your job.
Bill McGeveren is a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. He says 'yes' you absolutely can be fired for what you put out there on social media.
We're increasingly seeing people out there on social media who don't like what somebody is saying actually engaging in behavior where they sort of swarm the employer and they try to punish the employer for what the employee has said or has done and a lot of the employers have just said that it's not worth it.
McGeveren says if you think your free speech is protected by the First Amendment, you're wrong. He says the First Amendment says Congress shall not restrict speech, meaning the government, but the Constitution doesn't stop private companies from doing that. He says, in fact, the courts have found in favor of companies that it's their own freedom to be able to fire someone when an employee has tried to sue to get their job back
So there are sometimes lawsuits but you'd get thrown out of court pretty fast.
McGeveren says you can quit your job for any reason and they can fire you for any reason as long as it's not discrimination.
He says legally it doesn't matter if you started the conversation on social media or just joined it.
McGeveren says the bottom line is it's always true that you need to be careful what you say and when you're on social media you're not just in your backyard talking to your friends.
A writer from a ``Law & Order spin-off and an NBA broadcaster found themselves out of jobs after social media posts this week, and they're not alone. Screenwriter Craig Gore was fired after he posed with a gun and threatened looters on Facebook. Sacramento Kings announcer Grant Napear resigned after tweeting critically of Black Lives Matter. Police officers, public employees and a symphony trombonist also lost jobs after making posts that their bosses found too incendiary or insensitive.
A Brainerd teacher has also resigned after posting comments over the weekend, which sparked a public outcry.