Nowadays, you probably won’t find a single person who doesn’t have a social media account. Whenever anything new comes up, we always first post it on our social media account(s), however, it often draws unwanted attention. This can be a big issue for businesses especially if the post has nothing to do with the business practices.
In order to avoid such a situation, most businesses have some rules and regulations regarding social media posting. Many have banned posting on social media during the office hours or at least limited the kind of posts which you can make. For example, many organizations have banned employees from making posts related to politics. However, businesses need to make sure that their policies are not illegal.
Most of the places have at will employment, which means that the employee can quit the job any time he or she wants, The employer also has the right to fire the employee unless on illegal grounds like racial discrimination. Hence, if the employer doesn’t like any particular post, he has full right to fire the employee.
The situation is slightly more complicated if there is an employment contract. In an employment contract, the reasons for which the employer can fire the employee is already mentioned beforehand. If social media posting is not listed as one of the reasons, then the employee has the right to sue the employer for breach of contract.
NLRB can also help you in figuring out when firing is justified and when it is not. Every year, NLRB receives hundreds of complaints from employees who believe they have been wrongly fired. Because of the receipt of so many complaints, they have issued a statement regarding this. As per them, employees have the right to discuss work-related problems with other employees. However, it is necessary to engage other employees in the post. Just merely complaining about work can get you fired.
First Amendment Rights
Many employees have claimed that they cannot be fired because of social media posting because it violates their right of free speech. However, that right can only be exercised while interacting with the Government. Private companies do not need to follow that. However, if you work for a Govt establishment, then it may apply.
If you think that you have been wrongly fired because of social media posting, then it is necessary to seek legal help immediately.