Thursday, October 17, 2013

Can Facebook Get You Fired?


 
I wonder if some of you who are reading this post found your way to this site through a link on my Facebook page. If so, thanks for checking it out! There is no doubt that Facebook and other social media outlets play an important role in the lives of professionals of all types, from attorneys to landscapers to retail owners to even the President of the United States.
Of course, Facebook is just as prominent in its ability to reconnect you with old friends and share countless photos of your kids and get into political arguments that have no chance of being anything other than frustrating.
But what happens when your professional world and personal world collide on your computer screen? Where are the boundaries? What are the possible consequences if these lines are blurred?
For the purposes of this blog post, I am thinking about the situation in which a high school teacher wants to have a Facebook account to stay connected with friends and family. While this teacher likely wouldn’t “friend” any of her students, it is difficult to keep all details online completely private.
So, what is a teacher to do? Can you deny the rights of an entire profession to stay away from a social network that boasts millions of participants? No. Most schools set up parameters for the use of Facebook by its staff as part of a general code of conduct. That’s fair. But what if the lines are not always clear. What is something inappropriate is assumed by a parent or a principal based on your Facebook postings?
Or let’s move beyond teachers and think more generally. Can an employee use Facebook to blow off steam about an unpopular boss? What about simply keeping a comfortable distance from co-workers and just not having to know every detail of one another’s lives?
The influence of social media is just now taking shape in examples of legal precedence, as technology is always forcing us to ask new questions. But you may already have found yourself the victim of termination or other negative consequences at work due to your use of social media, and you believe what you are facing is unfair.
We have attorneys in Austin, Houston and San Antonio who specialize in wrongful termination and workplace discrimination who are ready to help you if you feel as if you have been mistreated in your employment for any reason, not just your use of social media. Please call our office today and let’s discuss what we can do to help.

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