Can you get fired for posting on social media?
Social media is an integral part of many people’s lives. But sometimes, workers get fired based on their social media posts. Depending on the situation, if you have been fired because of the content of your social media posts, you may have a case against your employer.
First Amendment Rights and Social Media
It is a common misconception that people feel like their First Amendment rights to free speech allow them to say what they want to say with no consequences. Yes, people are allowed to express their thoughts and opinions, but they are not necessarily protected from getting fired for what they say in their social media posts.
Employees who work in a government position are protected under the First Amendment (with some limitations)(, but private-sector employees do not have that same protection from getting fired because of social media. Florida is an “at-will” state, meaning you can be fired for any reason (or no reason at all) as long as the reason is not illegal.
If your employer has violated employment law that covers certain situations dealing with social media, they should be held accountable.
Employee Protections From Getting Fired for Social Media Posts
Florida workers do have certain protections against getting fired for social media posts. They involve key areas of employment law. Here are circumstances that could be sufficient for bringing a case against your employer:
Area of Focus: Employment Contracts & Agreements
Suppose you have an employment contract, collective bargaining agreement (CBA), or another type of employment agreement that includes details covering your freedom of speech on social media, and you were fired because of social media. In that case, there may be a breach of contract. Contact an employment law attorney to discuss.
Area of Focus: Discrimination
If you are in a protected class under federal and state anti-discrimination laws, you may have a case against your employer if you have been fired for social media posts. Protected categories include race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, or marital status. If you said something on social media similar to others who are not in one of the protected classes – who did not get fired for what they said – your employer very well could have violated employment law.
Area of Focus: Retaliation
Are you a whistleblower for safety issues or illegal business practices and were fired for relevant social media posts? Have you complained about discrimination or sexual harassment on Facebook and were subsequently terminated from your job? Federal and state anti-retaliation laws are on the books to protect employees from retaliation.
Area of Focus: Protected Concerted Activity
It is not uncommon for co-workers to discuss work issues on social media. Suppose you are a rank-and-file employee and are discussing working conditions, such as safety hazards, with other rank-and-file employees. In that case, your communications may be protected by the National Labor Relations Act. Generally, this Act protects “concerted activity” and prevents employers from firing you for terms and conditions of employment with your co-workers. If you have been fired for these types of social media posts, consult with an employee rights attorney to determine your best legal options moving forward.
Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A.: Defending Your Employee Rights
If any of the above areas of focus are relevant to your situation of getting fired for social media posts, you have the right to hold your employer accountable for violating the law. Employee rights attorneys have the experience and skills necessary to fight for you against powerful employers in complex cases regarding Employment Contracts & Agreements, Discrimination, Retaliation, and Protected Concerted Activity.
We believe that hard-working people should be treated fairly and have the ability to get the best outcome possible for your case.