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Should You Be Fired For Bitching About Your Job On Facebook?

NLRB sets a precedent for employee free speech on social platforms

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Should You Be Fired For Bitching About Your Job On Facebook?
[ Social Media]

It won’t take much time on a “funniest of Facebook” site like Lamebook or Failbook to find someone railing about their boss or coworkers, forgetting that they had friended them during some Friday night booze-a-thon a few months ago. The results are predictable – the beleaguered parties see the posts and hilarity ensues.

Although it most likely remains a questionable decision to vent your workplace frustrations on Facebook, score one for those wishing to express their problems via social media.

Should employers have the right to discipline employees based on social media posts? Or do you think that an employee has a right to post what they want on their own time? Let us know in the comments.

The National Labor Relations Board has ruled in the favor of 5 New York workers that were fired because of comments they made on Facebook. The judge in the case decided that the social media communications of the workers were protected by the National Labor Relations Act, which allows for employees to freely discuss the terms and conditions of their employment.

The employees in question work for Hispanics United of Buffalo, a non-profit that provides social services for the poor in the area. They coordinate housing, deal with domestic violence victims and operate a food pantry.

In October 2010, one employee posted the following status on Facebook -

LC, a coworker, feels that we don’t help our clients enough at HUB I about had it! My fellow coworkers how do u feel?

She posted it from her home computer, on her own time.

That one post triggered a flurry of comments, in which many of her fellow employees joined in the fray. According to court documents, one employee commented -

Tell her to come do mt [my] fucking job n c if I don’t do enough, this is just dum

Another posted a more in depth response -

Lol. I know! I think it is difficult for someone that its not at HUB 24-7 to really grasp
and understand what we do ..I will give her that. Clients will complain especially when they ask for services we don’t provide, like washer, dryers stove and refrigerators, I’m
proud to work at HUB and you are all my family and I see what you do and yes, some things may fall thru the cracks, but we are all human :) love ya guys

The woman at the heart of the post, LC, eventually joined in the Facebook conversation herself. After commenting, she complained to her boss, the HUB executive director. Text messages indicate that LC told the executive director that the Facebook discussion participants should be fired or at least disciplined.

A couple of days later, the executive director did decide to terminate all of the people who participated in the Facebook discussion (except for her personal secretary). The fired employees eventually took their complaint to the NLRB.

The official ruling states that their criticisms of an employee’s performance are protected by law -

Employees have a protected right to discuss matters affecting their employment amongst themselves. Explicit or implicit criticism by a co-worker of the manner in which they are performing their jobs is a subject about which employee discussion is protected by Section 7. That is particularly true in this case, where at least some of the discriminatees had an expectation that LC might take her criticisms to management. By terminating the five discriminatees for discussing LC’s criticisms of HUB employees’ work, Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1)

The Judge ordered HUB to rehire the 5 employees and to give them back pay, as their original termination had been unlawful.

It’s unclear just how important this decision really is when it comes to free speech and social media. But one thing is for sure – there is now an official precedent stating that employees can discuss their working conditions on Facebook and other social media sites.

That still doesn’t mean that it’s always the wisest of actions, however. Employees and Employers that feel miffed can definitely find ways other than termination to enact retribution for certain social media posts. Maybe the best thing you can do is double-check those privacy settings.

Do you think that Facebook or Twitter is a proper place to vent workplace frustrations? Let us know what you think.

Should You Be Fired For Bitching About Your Job On Facebook?
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  • http://www.iconicbrand5.com wallace morrison

    They should all be fired. No one should take that route on Facebook or any Social Media for that matter. The law says, “Employees have a protected right to discuss matters affecting their employment amongst themselves.” Facebook is never among SELVES. It involves over 500 million people. I guess everyone that works for Homeland security can just come on Facebook and talk. The judge ruled wrong.

    • http://ozlo.blogspot.com ozl

      I didnt see those comments so its not 500 Million viwers After all. xP
      Ever heard of Friends only?

      • http://www.iconicbrand5.com wallace morrison

        Ever heard of G+:) G+ is where you can actually have those “friends only”…., it’s called circles. If you notice my comment stated, ‘Facebook involves over 500 million people’ and not that 500 million people were involved. The truth is, it’s on Facebook and there is a ‘possibility’ that your comment will be involved with 500 million people easily. I agree with you that there should be a friends only with many people, but obviously, either it wasn’t an option that was used or someone was a wikileaker:) The point I was trying to make was that; with anything on the internet and especially a ‘social network’ (notice this isn’t a private network), the comment was just that, social. They commented for the world to see. An email or better yet, a phone call, would’ve been a better idea … or get this, haha, a real meeting at work. No, they clearly took the wrong route.

    • http://justacollegelife.wordpress.com/ Edmond

      So if I say fuck America, it sucks, I should be deported?

      • Abby

        Yes.

      • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

        That’s the beauty of our free society here in the United States of America. Any time you don’t like it, you are free to leave. Why are you still here if you hate it so much? Leave. Go now. Bye.

        • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

          It’s free — just don’t complain, right? Especially about your boss with his giant cojones, grunting as you say “Good morning” on the way to your cubicle. Why don’t you>/em> leave the country and find a “globalized nation” with virtual slave labor and not even the faded promise of free speech? What’s the matter, does an innocous complaint posted on the Internet cause you to weep into your pillow at night?

          • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

            Not at all. You can complain all you want. That is your right and your choice. However, with rights come responsibility, and consequences. So, what is more important? Your “right” to complain, or keeping your job? That is the question.I don’t weep in my pillow. I own my own business and I run it exactly the way I want to. Lot’s of people looking for jobs, so if one doesn’t like it, maybe the next will. NEXT.

  • SLBushway

    As long as the comments made on Facebook don’t appear in organic search results then I think the employees are fine. If however, the comments against the employer do appear in organic search results – then the employees should be fired. There are two sides to every story but if the employee goes online to vent and in the process uses the employer’s name, that could ruin a business and what if it turns out the employee was lying or at best blew things out of proportion? The comments were still appear in search results, there isn’t much the employer could do about it and since most feel that what they read online is true – am reputation can tank for little to no reason. Bottom-line, this case isn’t done – don’t assume you can do as they did and get away with it. Most States are “employment at will” States – meaning, they can fire you for any reason and don’t have to admit that it was related to comments you made on Facebook.

  • Margie

    It’s not the place (facebook) to vent about a job. Anyone who has issues with their employer should take it to H.R.
    I’d be prone to fire an employee if this was discovered.
    Social etiquette has all but disappeared in society.

  • B J

    If anyone in any situation makes derogatory remarks about any individual, organisation or especially an employer they should be prepared for the comments leaking back to who it concerns. As an employee one should avoid doing anything that reduces the standing of the company, whether during working hours or not.
    Obviously there are differing levels of critical remarks, but the bigger the audience the worse the damage and the penalty.

  • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

    If an employee is unhappy on the job, that employee should find a new job, or open his/her own business. Did you ever hear the term “at will employment”. Enough said.

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    In my opinion, anything posted online beyond revelations of company secrets or blatant sabotage of a business should be protected by both employee rights to privacy and freedom of speech. Otherwise, only those who don’t need jobs truly have freedom of speech. To hear President Obama sound the ominous words, “Watch what you post online” as advice to high schoolers is a true marker of our approaching becoming a corporatist state. It is not beyond reasonable suspicion to think this Internet “backlash” was planned all along, that what began as a vehicle for freedom of speech would eventually become another means of social control.

    Paul A. Toth

  • Rob

    I think it is an excellent venue to allow the disgruntled employee to vent their anger. This tactic allows the employer to watch the dissident and fire them for some other reason. There are 3,000 unemployed individuals waiting in line to fill that position.

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    In reading the posts below, especially the person who said “Yes” to the quetion of whether a person should be deported for writing, “F*** America, it sucks,” it’s clear this nation is ripe for fascism, which Mussolini accurately described as “failed capitalism.” What’d next, 24 hour camera surveillance to ensure we don’t issue a negative comment about the all-holy corporation? If you can’t run a business without being aware of and handling the fact that all employees complain about their jobs, just as all bosses complain about their employees, then you should get out of business. You’re all of the mindset of tyrants in a soft tyranny, where you may not jail people but economically whip them.

  • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

    An employee DOES NOT have any “right” to a job. MOST states now are “at will” employment states. Therefore, in MOST states in the United States an employer does NOT need a “reason” to fire an employee, and legally,as an employer you are better off NOT giving a reason. Nowadays, most employers simply tell the employee they no longer have a job, and then security or law enforcement or HR staff, etc escort the terminated employee off the premises and read them a trespass warning. That’s how you fire an employee. An employer has a right to run a business as they see fit, and to safeguard it’s business interests. Remember, as an employee, no one owes you anything. You EARN the right to keep a job, it is not a given right.

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    Yes, and when Ileave work, an employer doesn’t have the right to have me followed, nor should he have the right to essentially stalk me online. Owning a business is a right, too, and it’s not to become a despit tyrannizing his employees. He shouldn’t have the right to peek over my shoulder when I’m off hours. And if he knew how to run a business, perhaps he wouldn’t have so many complaints, would he? The Labor Board, unlike the Supreme Court, obviously still believes in the First and Fourth Amendments as intended, not as butchered by fascists like the not-surprisingly Italian dictator — I mean Supreme Court Justice — Scalia. If employees would lose the sense they’ve the God-given right to lord over their employees, they might find their employees return loyalty. As it stands, employers, in this wet dream of an employer’s labor market, might as well suspect every employee carries a knife to work. And with good reason, since he may be stabbed in the back at any moment…so that someone else an be hired for less. You and your fellow business owners created this free-for-all form of capitalism. You will pay for it one day.

  • Mark Barrett

    I think the question should be ‘should an employee keep thier job if they’re not intelligent enough use privacy rules?’ If you want to have a pop at your company with friends, then make sure it’s only your friends that see it! It’s not hard to use G+ circles or Fbook lists. If you can’t work out how, then don’t have a public pop at your company!

  • Bob

    It may be legal, but a stupid thing to do if one ever wants a promotion!

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    Heil, mein Fuhrer! Oh, how I’d love to raise my arm in salute to you every morning as you grace my pathway with your “Daddy bought my business” confidence, and to buttress your arrogance. You can rest assured that were I to work for you, I would state whatever I wanted about your business when off duty, and if you terminated me, I would destroy your business within a few hours with blog posts that I can raise to the top of your search engine charts through SEO. Your power ends when you termina

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    Your power ends when you terminate an employee; the employee’s has just begun.

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    Dissidents! We now have economic dissidents, rather than political dissients. We’d better have the FBI monitor employees. I’m absolutely positive nearly everyone here would support such a measure. I now see why this country is collapsing. You may profit from it now, but you will pay later. And like the banks, when that time comes, you’ll go crying for bailouts to the fed which you so endlessly blame for regulation and individuals not “taking personal responsibility.” But of course, with an “Inc.” after your name, you’re free of responsibility, existing as a notion in a nation that’s lost all sense of whatever good notions it once had.

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    And what about employers who terminate employees in this economy so that they can hire someone else for less. That’s the free market, right? What happened to the free market of ideas? Why don’t you look at the complaints and try to figure out a way to solve the problem at hand? No business is going to be ruined by a Facebook comment; businesses are plenty adept at destroying themselves. Long after they destroyed the unions and canceled retired workers’ pensions, GM STILL couldn’t run a successful business. No matter what you give business, it always wants more. It will never stop. And so, hire your squads of secret police and have them follow employees wherever they go, including their bedrooms, so they don’t dare scratch your sacred logo.

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    As a dissident, I solicit your contributions to my leaving this nation. Then you won’t have to worry if I say what I have to say off-hours on two out of three jobs: “The boss is an a-hole with a capital ‘A’.”

  • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

    Paul. You are missing the point and going off on a tangent. You must be from CA as you seem to have an entitlement attitude. The bottom line here is that in most states an employee is “at will”. That employer can fire you at any time. You have no “right” to a job. Therefore, the answer to the question which is the topic of this thread, is YES, the employee should be fired. Workplace issues should stay in the workplace unless all avenues in the workplace have been exhuasted. Then, there are APPROPRIATE avenues outside the workplace to file your complaints. Ised to think just like you until I got fired too many times. Now, I can see that I handled things wrong, even though I had the “legal” and “contitutional” right to voice my views in public. My employer had the right to fire me. And they did. FYI..The employee has NO “power” after termination as you claimed, unless very specific areas of law were violated, and can be documented, unless you live in CA, then anything goes.

    • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

      I’ve already read your same arguments three times, and I already replied that I have lived in California and had no more sense of entitlement than I do in Florida, where things are run to the liking of tyrants like yourself. The employee’s right after termination is self-annointed. He now has the freedom to destroy your business via facts revealed over the Internet, if he knows what he’s doing, and there’s nothing you can do about that. In this economy, there are no venues inside the business; you and your like have constantly stated your predictable attitude: “Don’t like it? Leave.” Don’t worry; I’m not talking through the door in the first place. The sad thing is that profit and greed have driven every shred of humanity from the likes of you, though you likely wear a mask of it at church on Sundays, the Halloween for capitalists. Your one interest in life — more, more, more — is an infinite void into which you are already falling and don’t even know it. I would empathize if not for your pride in that fact. So when your business fails, I ccan only hope you’re forced to work under a boss exaactly like you once were.

  • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

    Most employers are firing employees and hiring others for less so they can pay higher taxes to support the welfare for all of the illegals, support all of the anchor babies, and those just too lazy to work. That’s what I did! It works!!

  • http://www.wuffinstyle.com suzanne

    I think as theres nothing in the contract stating they cant discuss work on facebook then their employer should maybe have kept quiet and looked for another way to fire them, im sure if they dig deep enough there’d be plenty..failing that id call for a company restructure whereby every employee needs to reapply for their own job. i could never work with unloyal staff,its bad for business and bad for moral.

  • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

    Suzanne, WHAT “contract”. Nobody mentioned any contract, and MOST employees in the United States have no employment contract of any kind. What part of “at will” is confusing here??

    • http://www.partygamble.com ed

      Employers to often care nothing for the value of the people who work for them.Employers to often clueless to the fact their business would not be successful unless the people ,the employee helped to make the company successful.Did you notice he did not firer is everyone that was complaining …

  • http://www.pestsupplywholesale.com Steve LaCroix

    The ONLY “contract” most employees ever sign is the one that states they can be fired anytime with or without cause as they are “at will ” employees.
    Sign here.

  • http://www.airplanenovel.com Paul A. Toth

    What welfare? It was virtually eliminated by Clinton. And now the “socialist” Obama is raping what remains. All of this to prove democracy is a farce, two business parties arguing over how many crumbs to toss the people their sponsors destroy. Fire all the people you like; I hope one of them sets fire to your business.

    Furthermore, I live in Florida, where, with one of the highest unemployment rates, Staatsführer Rick Scott shortened the unemployment cutoff date and passsed laws making “termination with good reason” far easier for employers. As if you couldn’t get around that easily enough. However, I did live in Los Angeles a couple of decades ago, and Ihad no more sense of or access to “entitlement” than I do here.

    I never claimed I had a right to a job. If you read my original post, I clearly state that an employee who reveals company secrets or blatantly attempts to sabotage a business should be fired by any measure, including Constutional amendments. What I do have the right to do is say and do whatever I like off the job, barring the above. Personally, I wouldn’t bother to post a word about the tedious waste of my time for which people like you pay a pittance; you and your business wouldn’t be worth so much as one letter of a word. The point is that where is the line to be drawn? If you can sit at home and essentially stalk me online, then what’s to stop you from having me followed? But I suppose that’s okay by you. You are, after all, the King. But one day, you’ll wear no clothes. This party will end, as it always does, a kind of labor market bubble for you that will eventually burst. And then you will be begging for a competent employee and forced to hire people who can barely spell. Will you watch what you post online about your employees when that day comes? Something tells me not. The simple fact is that this has nothing to do with rights but power, as so many comments prove. You have your little employer’s firing club for your power, and you intend
    to use it. I’m sure you’re quite proud of the fact that the only reason you earn a profit is because current conditions allow you to pay bottom dollar wages. And when that day passses, we’ll see your little business boarded up and you on your way to collect your entitlements.

    • http://www.partygamble.com ed

      She only complained about her job.We all do at times,dare say even her boss.Her facebook is in fact her private life,just.Facebook setting allow us only share who and what we want,to who we want.The government or even employers have no right to invade our private lifes.You are clearly a liberal ….

  • http://www.businessandsoftwarestrategyforglobalisation.com/ Mae Loraine Jacobs 

    Social media and networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter are no longer means of self-expression. They can already be used for branding, and if an employee can damage the reputation or brand the company has worked so hard for, then he definitely needs to be penalized, even terminated from the job. But before they can do that, companies should come up with clear-cut policies that can be used as employee discipline guidelines.

    • http://www.partygamble.com ed

      You are clearly a liberal .The work place cannot and should invading our prviate lives.In fact you are speaking for big government, where government and even employers can control what we say or do and punish us everywhere .You are the liberal .

  • http://www.mlmwatchdog. Rod Cook

    Big brother gets bigger! We are the government here to help you. Why don’t the elements of libel apply? Libel is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, implied to be factual, that may give an individual or company, a negative image. It is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).[1]

    • http://www.partygamble.com ed

      You are crazy we as average Americans have to have rights. The work place cannot and should invade our prviate lives.In fact you are speaking for big government, where government and even employers can control what we say or do and punish us everywhere .You are the liberal .

  • http://www.partygamble.com ed

    Well if this was in Missouri they would have lost .The state of missouri allow you to be fired for about anything. I lost my job after I got injuried on the job and was still collecting workers comp.

  • http://www.drbodoh.com Denny

    If you tell your boss, face to face, that he is a prick, you can expect to be fired or penalized. But, at least it is kept between you and the boss. If you broadcast it, through facebook or any other means, to the general public, it is the same thing times a million. Yes, you deserve to be fired.

    What a dumb question!

    You are responsible for what you say just as much as what you do. It doesn’t matter how you say it, you can expect to be judged for it.

  • enrico

    a boss is also a human wich have a live. Why somebody should bitch about the job behind the back of the boss? Of course he should be able to charged if he is stupid enough to bitch on a public site over somebody. He or she typed the words doesn’t he? Why the people anyway meaning they have to share their problems with peole wich they not even know in person i mean who really cares? People can give much damage to any concern if they publish some bad stories over their workplace and there is nobody else responsible for than the one wich types that stuff. Again just think first facebook is a public domain with millions of visitors, it shouldn’t be allowed at all to talk bad stuff over such domains and if they do they have to live with consequences.

  • Ethan

    I’m sure that no where in their contract are they prohibited from venting their frustrations with their friends. Should the person be fired if an email (sent on their own time) between two people was intercepted by the boss? If the message was not intended for the boss then it is no different than a union/labor meeting he wasn’t invited to.

  • http://www.partygamble.com ed

    Come on people this is the reason Union were started,to allow the American worker some rights.I heard a woman the other day was fired for talking at work about her daughter death.The company said work was not the place ? My God she lost her daughter .I wonder if her boss lost his or her daughter if then they could comprehend the woman pain level. If she had a union she would have had rights .I know unions have good and bad, but we as workers should be allowed more rights (can you afford a lawyer ?).I been fired again while on workmen’s comp even after surgery for the work related injury. Could not afford a lawyer so had no help to defend me .

    • Jack

      Not quite the same thing Ed.

    • http://thecomputergal.com Nora McDougall-Collins

      Capitalism is only as strong as its compassion.

      • Don Moore

        Sounds great but always remember the Golden Rule. He who has the gold rules.

        If you take an employer’s money then abide by the employer’s rules even if you do not like them. Otherwise go find another job. Employers hire because they need someone to do a job the way they want it done. Do it or leave. No one put a gun to your head and said you had to take the job.

        Also keep in mind that there will always be bad employers and bosses and employees will not always be treated fairly. Make the best of it or leave.

        If you were paying the bills would you put up with the things some of your fellow employees do?

  • H. Brennan

    Sure they have the right to say what ever they want on their own time,
    however if they’re that stupid to do so and expect that there will be no negative feedback from the employer then maybe they should go work else where as they certainly have no loyalty to their employer.

  • Jack

    Of course the employer should be able to discipline an employee for public remarks and has a legal right to do so. Employees need to read their employment agreements before they decide to rake their employer over-the-coals in public.

  • Jerald Franklin Archer

    This is the kind of situation (in any online social forum) that can often end up being nothing more than scandal mongering, defamation, gossip, back-biting and other activities that do no good for anyone. Given the state of our unemployment, it is often wiser to consider the fact that seems too true today: No one ever appreciates their job until it is gone and they are standing in the unemployment line. What a strange answer it would be for the applicant to state why they were terminated in the first place. It is all about solid character and morals that make for a good employee, and I have always been the kind to “insist” that if an employee is not happy at their workplace, they need to find other work as soon as possible. This makes for a sound company.

  • http://Www.amainhobbies.com Kendall Bennett

    It is important that workers rights are protected and their right to congregate and bitch about something at work or their co-workers should be protected. The issue in this case is not whether they should have the right to bitch but whether they should have the right to do this in public. Having a group conversation around the water cooler or over a few beers after work should be protected and nobody should be fired for that. But when the same thing is said in a public forum things get messy real fast. If the group of people congregate in a private area online that is not a huge deal, but when anybody can read the responses we have a problem.

    Now in the specific case of Facebook not everybody can read the posts in the first place so unless the employee bitching has their privacy set so that they entire world can read what they say (not a very common option) then in a sense it is not really a public forum as only people ‘friends’ with the employees can read what is written which in a way makes it more like a water cooler discussion than ranting in a public forum (like a blog post or public newsgroup or forum). In this particular case it is clear the employer in question was not on the ‘friend’ list anyway and only found out because someone who was on the list sent them the details. That is akin to someone overhearing the conversation (perhaps about them) around the water cooler and reporting to their boss and then having them fired.

    When you think about it in that light, regardless of how pissed off their boss may be, the judge made the right decision.

    • Guest

      Good logic I’ll agree.

      A little further into this I think ole’ LC and the HUB executive director should spend a week or so on the front lines for a new perspective, in other words real hands on experience.

    • Don Moore

      It is not whither and employee has the right but what you want your job and future with your employer to be. Smart bosses will find a way to get rid of undesirable employees. Unless you are one of the few that cannot be replaceable, then play it smart and safe. The cost of what you say and your action can be very high.

      I agree, the judge made the only decision he could based on what the employer fired them for. A smart employer would have got rid of them for other reason over the next several months.

  • Fishguy

    As a manager of a retail store, we have a Facebook page. One of our employees was a friend of our page. At the close of one business day, there were still a couple of guys finishing their shopping. The employee in question noted on his page that he was stuck in the store waiting on “two fucking idiots” and that he was going to be late to the bar.

    We of course saw the message and asked him what he was thinking? His immediate answer was “I was on my own time” as it was after official closing time. His answer was extremely aggressive and in no way did he feel he did anything wrong. We of course felt we could no longer have him around terminated him.

    Well, after a year’s gone by now, we are still paying unemployment to him as he took us into court proceedings for unlawful termination and won his argument.

    This is in addition to the facts that we have concrete proof and testimonies that he is currently employed with a construction contractor and being paid in cash. The labor board refuses to hear our side and we are forced to continue the payments.
    By the way, this is of course in California…

    • Don Moore

      California.
      All bets are off in California. That’s like being on a different planet.

    • Don Moore

      By the way. You now know that you should have waited and laid him off for other reasons. And employee like this one will always give a boss lots of reasons for defensible termination. Expensive lesson that I hope your company learned from. One key is to treat everyone the same. If you fire someone for being late to many times after warning them in writing, then you need to be sure you do the same with other employee. You can’t make exceptions.

    • http://maidformoney.com/how-to-rank-your-cleaning-company-in-local-search-engine-optimization-seo/ cleaning company seo

      if he posted this on the company’s page indirectly or directly I do not know how he got unemployment. Because if you use profanity or are aggressive when confronted that is grounds for termination without unemployment rights.

  • http://thecomputergal.com Nora McDougall-Collins

    There are two issues here:
    1) Whether it is wise for employees to publicly complain about the company they work for.
    2) Whether employees should be allowed to publicly complain about the company they work for.

    This brings up two scenarios:
    1) Some people complain about everything, not just their employment. These people are usually the type that are not part of the solution, just part of the discontent and have unrealistic expectations of what an organization can do for them.
    2) Much too often, the case is that management doesn’t listen to valid complaints, which should be taken as an opportunity for improvement. Along with the deaf ears is a lack of communication. Too often, management could be more open and transparent about why certain unpopular practices or decisions are in place.

  • http://www.priceofsilver-perounce.com Price Of Silver Per Ounce

    I think it is ridiculous for anyone to be exposing themselves on Face Book let alone gripe about their job. How can you take back your privacy which is worth more than silver or gold if you are spending time on Face Book? Let the kiddies do that who do not know any better. Facebook is for them and not for those who have wisdom.

    • http://www.ucanworkathome.info/livinghealthierandwealthier Wanda

      I disagree with you and that is my right it in the constitution.

  • Peter Munro

    I don’t know labour laws and rights in the USA, however in Britain, people have certainly had their employment legally terminated or not been promoted or not been hired for adverse comments about an organisation on Facebook or other social media.

    I think there are two important aspects:
    1) Is the comment or complaint unfair ? Is it tantamount to libel ? Does it amount to defamation of the organisation’s reputation, products, services or policies ?
    If so, then the commenter may find themselves subject to litigation, and such an action would make it very difficult for anyone to continue working as part of a team.

    2) What has the organisation done to protect its interests. As an IT/business consultant, I advise organisations to draw up policies that cover use of social media, mobile phones, email.
    These policies should cover what employees can fairly say about the organisation whether on their own time or not. One organisation fairly terminated a worker’s job; the employee has signed a contract including policies that read “…. in the event that an employee publicly denigrates the company’s products, they shall be subject to disciplinary action; in the event that they cannot show that the criticism is reasonable, they may be subject to immediate dismissal …”. A harsh policy, but all employees that I talked to considered it reasonable. In a couple of cases it was tested, in one case, the company admitted that the comment was reasonable as they realised their testing procedures were unsatisfactory, in another case, the employee admitted that he had no evidence to back up his claim (it later emerged that he was getting his own back at the company for not promoting him), and he was given a week’s notice.

  • James

    I don’t think FaceBook is the right place to be complaning about your
    job. If you have a problem take it to your boss, or higher official.
    The first thing if your going to complain you shouldn’t be using
    words like i see in one of thehubcomplaint such as Quote ( Fuck)
    There are lots of kids on facebook and they don’t need to be reading
    that type language.

  • Don Moore

    It’s not “Should you be fired” but “Can you be Fired” for making negative statements about your job, boss or the company you work for. The answer in all but 5 states is yes. In 22 states you work at the will of the employer. Smart employers that want to fire you because of statements you make will find ways to fire you for something other then your bitching. Like poor performance, late to many times, not being a team player, etc. If they do not fire you then you need to realize that your career with that employer is most likely over. Why would a boss want to promote a non-team player that has really stated that they do not want to work for that company or boss? Smart people will not post anything online that could cause problems at work. You also need to keep in mind that another employer may see your post and pass you over for the job you are applying for. Right or wrong, you will most likely pay the price at some point. This goes for those party photos too.

  • http://www.made4ucustomcomputers.webs.com/ Jason

    It’s really quite simple. Everyone is responsible for their own choices, obviously I don’t see like everyone else. The right to have your feelings protected is not covered in the Constitution. So yes bitching to whoever, whenever is perfectly legal. Unless it’s a threat or danger. That’s the purpose of living here. Freedom. If I upset my employee, it is my choice and responsibility to fix it. If they don’t play ball… it’s on them. If they respond on public network and it’s true, then it’s true. You get fired for being a bad employee, not for complaining. Communism anybody? All hail mother Russia. oops… wrong country. (can I say that here..? (YES!!)

  • http://mind-expanding.com/events/events Jocelyn Myers

    People have forgotten that everything they do or say on the internet is forever. First rule of thumb: “Never say anything you don’t want the entire world to see – even in private email.”

    I think an employer should have the right to fire anyone they want to – for whatever reason. If an employee has become toxic, WHY would they want to keep them? And to be toxic in a public way? Absolutely, they should be fired.

    I believe being employed with a company is a privilege, not a right.

  • Mike Freeman

    As an employer, I would hope that an employee would come to me with the issue before posting it on facebook or any other public place. If an employee posts these types of remarks publicly, I am going to question their judgement and wonder if that same lack of “thinking through a problem” is an issue in the workplace and I seriously doubt they would still have a job.

  • http://maidformoney.com/how-to-rank-your-cleaning-company-in-local-search-engine-optimization-seo/ cleaning company seo

    Of course you should be fired. A lot of companies have rules against publicizing your Employers name or releasing any information on how the company works while being employed.

    I think most people would know if they went on television and started spewing rants against their employer that they would be fired, the same with any other media , let it be social, print, newspaper, radio.

    • http://www.ucanworkathome.info/livinghealthierandwealthier Wanda

      Why is that we do live in America we are entitled to our opinions.

  • http://www.amcsocialmedia.com Russ Alman

    While participation in social outside of work is a personal experience, employees must remember that they have a responsibility to their employer at all times. All employees, regardless of their position in a company, are ambassadors for that company. It’s one thing to complain about your job in a personal conversation. It’s quite another to post it in a public forum like the social media.

    Employers must implement social media policies with their employees. The policies must be clear about the responsibilities to the employer both at work and away from work. By having clear policies in place, employers and employees will have a clear understanding of expectations.

  • http://www.bonanza.com/booths/tuckerstuff Thomas Tucker

    To me, it’s like the work uniform policy. You are not allowed to wear your uniform shirts out after work, such as going to bars, or hitting the clubs (you’d be surprised how many people I have seen go out after work and don’t bother to change their uniform, and then get in trouble for it later). Work uniforms are only for work. Problems and frustrations regarding work should be left within the workplace. Most uniform policies go like this: “You are a representative of the company, and wearing uniforms out to social gatherings is not representing the company in a professional manner, and is against policy.” Talking crap about your job on Facebook is not representing the company in a professional manner, either. Problems at work? Take it up at work; if it’s with a manager, call a supervisor. Putting it all over Facebook or Twitter is just a disaster waiting to happen, and resolves nothing.

  • http://www.outskirtspress.com/whoaretheblacktigers Raymond E Pratt

    No employer should be allow to terminate you based on what you say outside of work unless you signed an agreement to give up your rights of free speech on work lated matters involving your employer or co-workers.

  • http://www.picasaweb.google.com/cape.socca.union Ralf

    No one should be fired for what they say on facebook, except it`s hate speech and advocates religious,cultural or sexual segregation. The internet, and with it sites like facebook work best when there are no restrictions, no censorship. Censorship leads to events like 9/11 and we don´t need more of that.

  • Gregory

    I think employers absolutely have the right to take disciplinary action on employees. It’s a social network outside of work. A lot of times people confuse their lives by mixing work and pleasure. Don’t blur the lines and dupe yourself. It’s business or pleasure. Don’t feel guilty for telling your employer or colleague no it’s only for personal use so I can have my freedom of speech preserved.

  • http://www.thewritedesignco.com Marcie

    I don’t think they should be fired, but I don’t think social media sites are the place to air your workplace laundry ONLY because you are not anonymous. If there is a site to do so, I would say go for it. And like Jocelyn says that anything online stays online.

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