I posted something on Facebook yesterday on MLK day, I was called up 10 minutes later by one of my supervisors stating it was his job to look over every employees behavior and I was fired because of what I posted. I read all through the manual and it doesn’t mention anything about social media. They also told me that they wouldn’t hire any my family members because I work full time, but another employee has family members working here also. Am I being discriminated against?
In a world where social media has become a huge part of our lives, you cannot behave on social media however you wish and feel it’s going to have no ramifications in your real life. I have seen Facebook posts use to put people in jail and criminal courts, I’ve seen Facebook posts used to take children away from their parents in Family Court and certainly I have heard of many times of people being fired because of what they’re putting up on Facebook. No it is not discrimination for you being fired for something you did on Facebook, being a member of Facebook does not make you part of a protected group of people that you can based discrimination on. The fact that your employee handbook does not mention social media, is irrelevant, as all of these will have something stating that you must behave in a certain professional manner while working for the company. As long as all employees must follow the same rules, there is no such thing as discrimination, an employer can require a specific behavior from its employees or it can fire them. Obviously whatever you posted was found to be an issue by somebody and it got to your managers attention and you were fired for that. People mistake the freedom of free speech to have some bearing on your job, free speech means that the government cannot stop you from speaking your mind, has nothing to do with where or who you work for. People need to start watching what they do and say on social media, because it’s not some get out of jail free card is simply a way for people to keep track of everything you do and say. So if you wouldn’t say it to your bosses face, your family face or in front of everybody then don’t say it on Facebook. There is no discrimination for acting badly on social media and courts will use this against you and so will your employers and is in no way discrimination or infringing on your freedom of free speech. It is you doing something and being held accountable for it. So word to the wise, keep your private lives private and if you work at a job that has a code of conduct, while you’re on Facebook behave as if you’re standing right in four of your boss.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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