Topic 4 – Can i get fired by what i post online? even when i’m off-duty?

pro and cons (2)

Pro and cons of social media creates a love-hate relationship for social media in the workplace. Companies start to watch the employee’s usage of social media both inside and outside company. Organizations struggle to keep pace with the evolving technology and employers find it difficult to balance the competing interests of an employee’s privacy against the employer’s security [1]. Creating awareness for labor law of social media and social media regulations.

Do you think you can get fired by what you post online?

Definitely yes. There is a law where company can’t fire you because of gender, race, religion, whistle blowing or nationality. Other than that? employer can fire you with any reason. [4][6]


Regardless the heavy usage of social media in business world; 85% businesses have no policies for online behavior [3]. However, there are a number of people got sacked because of social media where the company doesn’t have any regulation regarding social media usage.

United States is a step forward in social media regulations. National Labor Relation Act protect individual’s right to post what they want. They are allowed to voice out their dissatisfaction towards their job, pay, or workload. US regulation also allow employee to create “friends-only” social media sites. However, not all work-related speech is protected. For example, your employer can still fire you if you post something negative about a client or customers on Facebook.[5]

Is it ethical to fire the employee when the organization never sets the toned neither policies regarding social media in the workplace? In my opinion it is not, unless the employee clearly states the name of the organization or create significant lost to the organization. I believe the US federation also think the same by giving freedom of speech.

It is time for the organization to create clear policies. The organization should make them involved in social media regulation to leverage the pro of social media. The regulation should not de-motivate the employee by being too strict, invade their privacy, or take away their freedom of speech. Few policies organization could consider:

  1. Give employees a breather and allow them to access social networking sites during their lunch break, before and after office hours.
  2. Educate and train staff as most employees are not aware how their actions online can cause security issues for the organization.
  3. Set security and usage policies. [use of the Internet at work, access to social networking sites and what they are allowed to say or do during office hours].

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[1] Naeger, Jennifer L. (2013) Effectively Managing Social Media In The Workplace. (9 November 2015)

[2] Contacos, Jonna & Lee, Albert. Social Media in the Workplace: legal, productivity, and legal issues. via YouTube (9 November 2015)

[3] Chang, Kabrina (2011). Kabrina Chang: Facebook Got Me Fired- Legal and Management Issues for Social Networking. via YouTube (9 November 2015)

[4] Pell, Nicholas. Fired for What You Post? (9 November 2015)

[5] Webb, Christine (2013). Can you be fired for complaining about your job on Facebook? (9 November 2015)

[6] Can You Fire Someone For Their Social Media Complaints About Work? (9 November 2015)