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Friday, June 2, 2017

Employees & Social Media: A Continued Lesson

There has been quite a bit of press this week on social media posts that have gotten people in hot water. Kathy Griffin's tweet about the President was just one of many making headlines this week. Another involved a reporter who tweeted the following after the finish of the Indy 500:
Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend.
According to news reports, the Denver Post reporter was terminated for what the newspaper called a "disrespectful and unacceptable tweet."

If you read some of the comments to news reports of persons being terminated for their social media activities, you will find some who argue that an employee cannot and should not be fired for exercising the employee's First Amendment rights. The problem with that argument is that the First Amendment does not protect all speech. It also does not protect the speaker from the consequences of his or her "speech" or in this case, social media activities. What we learn from these stories is that employees do not have an absolute right to say what they want on social media and they can (and have been) fired for inappropriate social media conduct.   

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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