Current Employment Law Issue: Fired Over Facebook

/ 10/22/2011

Social media use has exploded in recent years, leaving employers and employees alike wondering about the contours of novel legal issues. Employers and employees may wonder whether an employer may prevent an employee from posting about the employer, whether an employer may prevent an employee from posting items it deems inappropriate, and what disciplinary measures an employer may use when an employee violates its social media policy. Navigating the use of social media requires employers and employees to balance the potentially competing interests of an employer’s need to protect itself and an employee’s right to free expression.

According to a recent news article, a judge in Georgia recently ruled against a former school teacher who allegedly lost her job because of a Facebook post. The teacher resigned from her position after she was told that someone claiming to be a parent complained because she had posted pictures of herself holding alcoholic drinks while on a trip to Europe. The plaintiff sued to get her job back, but the judge issued a summary judgment decision for the employer.

Social media use by employees remains a hot topic and will likely remain so for years to come as employers and employees map out the boundaries of acceptable social media use. To speak to a Dallas-based employment law attorney about creating a social media policy, contact the employment law firm of Clouse Dunn LLP at [email protected].