In the US constitution, the first amendment states that government cannot interfere with your speech–it means one can typically express their opinions without getting arrested or punished. But it does not even mean you can say whatever and whenever you want online without facing the consequences.
Private companies and employers can fire employees for what they post on social media. But, there are a few exceptions to the rule. If you get fired for posting the truth on social media, you can contact an employment law attorney Paramus.
Can I be fired for a social media post?
Your employer cannot fire you if you post:
- Truthful statements about behavior, working conditions, workplace harassment, or unsafe workplace.
- Comments indicating your interest in joining or supporting a union.
- Messaging other co-workers to contact a lawyer to get information about the workplace.
In the US, employers can fire employees for any lawful reason. Of course, the question arises: What is unlawful and what is not?
If you have an agreement with your employer that you can only get fired for cause, you can enforce those provisions in court—examples like missing work, excessive tardiness, and failure to perform well on the job. You also cannot get fired for blowing the whistle on unlawful activity. Moreover, workers cannot be terminated based on sex, caste, religion, disability, age, etc.
Examples and reasons for why your job can be terminated
- Posts or comments depicting racism
You may think that you can post and express your personal opinions on social media, but your employer is responsible for protecting the employees from a hostile work environment. Due to workplace anti-discrimination laws, the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) has mentioned that racist or sexist comments online are not protected.
- False or misleading posts
If an employee makes false posts about anything on social media, and if the case is investigated and found wrong, the employee can be terminated. For example, once an employee posted on social media that their employer’s ambulance was broken down for some reason. But, when it was investigated, it was found that every ambulance was working.
- Posting confidential information
If you know confidential information about employees’ pay rates and addresses, you should not share the information on social media. Suppose you work in the Human Resources department of a company and have access to Mary’s salary details. You thought Mary’s salary was very high, so you posted on Social media saying, “A new graduate employee was just offered $80,000 a year in our company.” This post can land you in hot water because you did not ask for Mary’s consent and posted her salary details without notifying her.