Could an employee be fired over facebook post? In recent examination, the answer is, Yes, you could get “facebook fired”!
In recent cases, the reasons for facebook firings were a mix of employees ranting on facebook about their bad bosses to one woman posting information about a case she was a jury member on.
In one case in Nevada, one woman had filed for a sexual harassment against her former boss, her boss’ attorney had requested her facebook wall posts be admitted as evidence of her saying her job was perfect and that her boss was sweet and respectful. Upon examination, she had deleted such posts from her account and was now being tried for destruction of evidence.
In another case in Switzerland, A woman called for a “work from home” day saying she had a terrible migraine and needed to work away from a computer screen, her coworkers reported numerous facebook posts popping out at the same time, and she was promptly fired.
Another cases involves five nurses in California after their employer found facebook posts of them discussing and commenting on patients cases, they were fired by the California Department of Health for allegedly violating patient privacy laws.
A teacher fired for facebook “stalking” his students is also a famous case that has recently emerged in New York, the teacher got fired for being creepy and harassing his students on Facebook. He posted “This is sexy” under some of their pictures. Result: Fired.
Some might say this alludes to a hostile work environment where employees can’t say what is on their minds on their private walls on facebook but the truth is, if you seriously need to rant about work, don’t “Friend” your coworkers, employees, employers and keep your posts private.
Don’t use company hours to post about private matters or chat with friends, the truth is, some companies allow the use of facebook and don’t block facebook because, simply, it can be used for research and marketing activities.
Also, remember to be careful about deleting posts. Rule number one on the internet, if it is already posted, it is forever online even if you delete it. Do not delete posts related to work without first consulting with experienced legal counsel.
If you feel you are being bullied on facebook by your employer or coworkers, do take it to the HR and Legal Departments and document every comment and post that you may have found offensive or “bullying” in nature. While it is advisable not to be friends with people in your working circles on facebook, if it is already the case and they are harassing you online do keep all posts recorded and submit to your boss or HR department.
A hostile work environment is one defined as conduct between co-workers and management that is discriminatory in nature. To legally define one before a lawsuit can be filed involves meeting specific conditions. One of these conditions is that a person who files a lawsuit has to fall under a protected class defined under the laws of the state they work in. The protected classes include disabled individuals and who face discrimination due to their race. A legally binding complaint has to directly deal with discrimination of a particular class of people.
There are right ways and wrong ways to go about handling this type of working environment. The first step is for the issue to be addressed with the employee or employees who are behind the offense. It must be clearly established what the offense is that has been committed and specifically how it has been carried out. Both parties need to have a clear understanding of what the problem is.
In ideal working conditions, this hostility in the work environment disappears when the problem is first discussed with the offending party. However it is not always this easy to stop the discrimination. Continued discrimination should be documented and there should be a transcript of the conversation between the victim and the perpetrator.
Don’t get Facebook Fired, be smart online when it comes to your workplace.