Over the last few years, the rise of social media — from blogs to Twitter — has resulted in more than one firing. Most of the time, fired employees have said something inappropriate or demeaning toward the employer via social media channels. A new case, though, has many wondering if the simple act of using a Facebook Like in a way your employer doesn’t approve of may end up getting you fired.
Likes are Protected Speech, But Could Still Get You Fired
Yahoo! Finance reports on the case of a sheriff’s deputy who was fired when he liked the campaign page of someone running against his boss. While a federal appeals court has ruled that a Facebook Like is protected under the First Amendment, the reality is that the First Amendment is generally viewed as protecting your speech from the government.
It doesn’t protect your right to say something that your employer likes, and still retain your job. It looks as though Facebook Likes are about to fall into the category of things an employer can fire you over. What if an employer decides that he or she doesn’t like the fact that you Like a competitor’s products? What happens when your public Like of the Ku Klux Klan is discovered during a web search? What if your liberal boss doesn’t approve of the fact that you Like the Republican Party?
While a number of people on Facebook Like many things, and it would be hard to comb through every employee’s history, it’s still an interesting proposition. What if your boss sees that you “Like” one of your friends’ comments — and he or she doesn’t agree? It looks as though yet another potential issue