August 19, 2016
Although freedom of speech is a right protected by the first amendment, an employer has the right to terminate you for any conduct deemed “inappropriate” by company standards. First amendment rights are meant to protect a citizen’s statements about the government. Any statements made about other entities may not be protected.
This code extends itself to social media, a place where people often get carried away with inappropriate behavior. That means if an employer catches a worker posting anything deemed unreasonable, they can be terminated. Many people have wondered about the validity of these claims, but these cases can and do hold up in court. This is due to the fact that most employees are hired under an “at-will” contract. This means an employer can terminate the contract at anytime at their discretion.
It is important to closely monitor your social media interactions. If not, you can be liable for lawsuits, which is why you should read up on these tips and work with professional Las Vegas attorneys.
Complaining About Your Employer
Workers are allowed to openly express discontent with their employer. This is a right protected by a special code called the “protected concerted activity.” This code was created to allow US labor unions to gather, assemble and operate in and around workplaces. The code allows union and non-union members to criticize employers, even when the company does not have a union.
However, this code only protects employees discussing work-related issues with their co-workers. If employees publicly criticize the company to strangers, such as posting something negative about their employer on social media, they can potentially be fired.
The nature of the criticism is the true determinant. Employees that complain about unfair working conditions and discuss them with other workers, in a non-public environment, cannot be fired.
It is important to read the terms of your employee contract, specifically regarding the code of conduct. A company is allowed to ask for and view your social media handles with or without your discretion. Social media accounts are considered public domain, and it is not unlawful for employers to view them. If they see material that they feel does not align with the company’s image, they can ask you to resign or terminate you.
Most companies have strict guidelines governing racial discrimination or sexual harassment. Employers are allowed to terminate employees that violate this rule. Workers expressing racist, sexist and other harmful views on social media are violating the company’s code and can be terminated. Employers consider this behavior inappropriate across the board, even if it occurs outside of the workplace.
One of the best ways to protect your job is to keep social media posting to a minimum. Only post things that are appropriate for a general audience (this means all ages) and keep any negative thoughts or comments to yourself.
If you have been terminated by an employer for a social media post, it is best to contact expert Nevada attorneys. Residents of the Las Vegas or greater Nevada area should contact the law offices of Paul Padda. Our Las Vegas lawyers don’t just specialize in personal injuries; they can help you learn more about your rights regarding social media posting. Call us today at Paul Padda Law for a consultation.