Wordy Wednesday

November 10, 2010 9 Comments TAGS: Career

The Headlines today read: Federal authorities say firing for posts on Facebook illegal

Please note, the above is NOT the actual Facebook remarks in question.

A Connecticut woman was fired after posting disparaging remarks about her boss on Facebook.

This dismissal has prompted a first-of-its-kind case by the Federal Authorities who say that her comments are protected under the freedom of speech labor laws.

The company stands by its policy against employees discussing the company on the Internet.

The “On the fence” question: Do you think it’s grounds for dismissal if an employee spreads negative remarks on their “personal” Facebook page about the company they work for and its people ?

Share your thoughts with our community.

xoxEDxox

    9 Comments

    1. John says:

      No tolerance for disrespectful employees. Law or no law. You’re gone!

    2. w w says:

      The facebook firing aspect of this viral story may not be true. Yahoo story doesn’t give a date for the incident.

      According to this June 2010 article, Dawnmarie QUIT her job, perhaps in 2007, because of health reasons.

      http://www.theday.com/article/20100624/NWS10/306249989/-1/zip06details&town=East-Haven

    3. Kathy says:

      My niece in the UK had a job interview scheduled with a pharmaceutical company. The day before the interview they phoned her and told her not to come as they had found that she had “liked” an animal rights group on Facebook. As the job pertained to testing on animals they said that she could possibly be a “spy” for the group! So not just what you post on Facebook is having repercussions, ‘liking’ something does too!

    4. I don’t think “freedom of speech” protects against insubordination or inappropriate behavior that reduces morale and TRUST. Freedom of speech protects the speech, but not the consequences. I might be free to tell someone they are a jerk and I won’t go to jail for it, but they still have the right to not be my friend, or to not marry me, or to not hire me or to dismiss me. There is no company anywhere that is forced to continue to pay a person who has a bad attitude that detracts the profit of the business. This “freedom” misperception is part of the reason America is losing.

    5. Barbara says:

      Deborah the above photo is not the case in question as Erica wrote, but I do agree that with the increased surge in social media, these rules will have to be very clearly outlined in company handbooks and policy books. Frankly if I were a boss and found out my employee was bashing the company and its people on facebook, they’d be gone!

      • Deborah says:

        Yes, I’m familiar with the case that Erica was referring to…I was responding to the situation in general and the case in the picture in particular (it was too wild to ignore). I think that as business owners it is difficult not to react to company bashing but unfortunately the law doesn’t see it that way. That’s why I sometimes think it sucks to be a “small” or “medium” sized business owner.

    6. Deborah says:

      These situations will challenge all businesses to have clear policies around the use of social media both in and outside of our businesses. I don’t believe that the boss acted very professionally in the case above but I understand the frustration that drives someone to react to this kind of online negativity.
      It is a great topic for discussion.

    7. Anonymous says:

      Freedom of speech. Can’t touch this!

    8. Joanne Lake says:

      I think we’re going to be seeing more and more of these cases popping up. I actually agree with the boss. I think it should be grounds for dismissal if an employee is spreading bad things about the company. It’s bad for corporate morale and I wouldn’t keep an employee like that around. But I also uunerstand the law of freedom of speech and the fact thar we should be able to voice our opinion without being afraid. It’s an interesting question.

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