Thursday, April 23, 2009

Professionalism alert: Yes, Virginia, you can get fired for posting on Twitter and Facebook during personal time

Every law student should know the answer to this one, says our good buddy Mitchell Rubinstein over at the Adjunct Law Prof Blog, but how many actually do?

Here's the rest of Mitchell's post:

[S]ome employees out there might be wondering if they could lose their job based on their online posts.

The answer is a pretty clear "yes" in the majority of circumstances. Because most states have "at will" employment laws, getting fired for online behavior of almost any sort is probably legal, with a few possible exceptions. To be more blunt about it, an employee probably doesn't even have to write negatively about their employer (or consort with criminals) in order to be fired. The noteworthy exceptions primarily involve an employee's: 1) union activicties; 2) pre-existing employment contracts or workplace policies; and 3) whistleblowing or protected activities.

But what if you're doing your posting on your own time and in the privacy of your own home? That won't make a difference considering the material being viewed was posted online for the whole world to see. Employees and those looking for work should also take note that it is getting quite common for supervisors and employers to use search engines to look up existing and prospective employees.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2009/04/professionalism-alert-yes-virginia-you-can-get-fired-for-posting-on-twitter-and-facebook-during-pers.html

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