Employment Attorney Answers: “Can I be fired for posting on Facebook?”, “Can my boss monitor my Facebook page or other social media?”
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed a lower court’s granting of summary judgment for an employer who claims to have terminated its employee for allegedly posting a disparaging comment on Facebook about the employer. Specifically, in Smizer v. Community Mennonite Early Learning Center, the plaintiff claimed that he was terminated based on his sex, but in response, the employer claimed that he was terminated based on its belief that he posted a Facebook comment that was disparaging towards the employer and thereby created a hostile work environment.
In reviewing the trial court’s granting of summary judgment, the Court of Appeals held that the Defendant employer did not have any legitimate reason to terminate the plaintiff other than the alleged Facebook post. However, that proved to be enough, because the plaintiff was unable to put forth any evidence of pretext or demonstrate that the employer’s concern over the Facebook concern was unfounded. Indeed, the employer’s summary judgment was upheld despite the fact that the plaintiff disputed that he even made the Facebook post in question. Essentially, the employer’s honest belief that plaintiff made the Facebook post was enough to affirm summary judgment.
The Smizer case is another example of why it is never a good idea to post on Facebook, or any social networking site for that matter, about your employer, especially if the post could be considered disparaging in any way.
If you have questions about your employment or feel that you may have been terminated for an unlawful reason, you should not wait to call the right attorney at 866-797-6040 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. If you have been fired, discriminated against, denied wages, or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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