We’ve all got that friend on Facebook who shares too much. And maybe you’ve heard of a friend of a friend that got fired for a Facebook post – well it’s true. You can get fired for what you put on your social media profiles.
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Take a look at some posts that got people fired – what do you think – should they have been fired?
- Several Virgin Atlantic employees posted statements saying the planes were infested with cockroaches, and referred to their passengers ‘chavs’. The posts were all removed and the group was sacked.
- A high school teacher was fired for questionable Facebook pictures, including those of her holding wine and beer – she is now suing the school district.
- One girl posted, “OMG I HATE MY JOB!! My boss is a total perv, always making me do stupid stuff just to annoy me!” Guess she forgot that she had friended her boss, who promptly replied to that post, retorting, “You seem to have forgotten that you have 2 weeks left on your 6 month trial period. Don’t bother coming in tomorrow. And yes, I’m serious”.
- A nun was asked to leave her convent, just for using Facebook!
Perhaps not everyone deserved to lose their jobs, but some definitely took things too far. There are Labor Boards that protect employee rights, and while they are still figuring out how these apply in virtual situations, we can tell you that posting anything relating to unsafe working conditions is typically protected. Posts about wishing to get fired, or how your boss is ugly typically aren’t.
Here are a few pointers to help you post about work, safely:
- If you need to get your frustration with your boss out on Facebook, stick to subjects like salary, benefits, working conditions, abusive bosses, discrimination, or withheld wages.
- Humor isn’t going to get you off the hook.
- You have every right to talk about your company; your company cannot ban you from talking about it.
- Think twice before posting – what does it accomplish? Will it get you fired if someone from work sees it? If the answer is even close to ‘maybe’, call a friend to vent instead.
While the powers that be figure out what exactly counts as ‘protected speech’ on social networks, be smart. Keep private things that should be private, and vent to friends and family privately, instead of in a forum where people you don’t want seeing it, might. Be careful with what you choose to share online and who you share it with, subscribe to the BullGuard Blog today to learn more about safe social networking. And keep your job!