Facebook’s ‘Like’ Can Get You Fired?
~Please visit Texas Health & Life for the Most Affordable Texas Heath Insurance & Texas Medicare Supplement~ At what point does clicking Like on a Facebook page get you fired that can result in federal complaints pitting employers against employees and raising fresh questions about the role of online speech? Two cases have come to light, each featuring employees clicking Like on Facebook and being fired for having done so. The first incident is a Library of Congress worker says he was fired when he Liked a an organization advocating gay adoption of children Facebook page. The 30-year-old library employee who previously received only glowing work evaluations, work inviroment became hostile after his supervisor learned he was gay according to reports. The employee said he became Facebook friends with the supervisor’s daughter and through that friendship his boss discovered that he had liked the Two Dads Facebook page. The employee filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after his firing. A ruling is expected later this month. In the second incident,Bland v. Roberts, the sheriff fired six of his employees when he discovered they Liked the Facebook page of his political rivalwho was a candidate for the sheriff’s elected post. The U.S. District Court found in favor of the sheriff, saying the firings were legitimate because Liking someone on Facebook does not constitute free speech and is not protected under the 1st Amendment. Should a Like be protected as freedom of speech? Public employees can bring retaliation claims based on 1stAmendment rights because the government employs them. The National Labor Relations Act governs private employers. The National Labor Relations Board has filed complaints charging employers with retaliating against workers engaged in private personal activities. The judge found that the Like button was too generic to constitute expressive speech in the sheriff’s department firings. Had it qualified as speech, the judge still might not have had enough context to ascertain whether the workers expressed an opinion qualifying for protection. The Library of Congress employee might be able to show that the page he Liked was sufficiently specific so that one can infer his opinion involved a matter of public concern. Private employers need to be sensitive to both the NLRA and privacy concerns by crafting social media policies that don’t choke off protected private speech and enforcing discipline evenhandedly. Looking for the best information and the best rates on Texas Health Insurance Quotes ~ visit www.texashealthandlife.com or give us a call at or 512-246-9955