Some Facebook posts, tweets can lead to firing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Some Facebook posts, tweets can lead to firing

Posted: Updated:
A Facebook user updates her status. (File/FOX Carolina) A Facebook user updates her status. (File/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Facebook posts, tweets and YouTube videos may seem to have a short shelf-life, but often they are nearly impossible to erase and can have a major impact on people's careers.

While some posts may seem harmless or funny at the time, they could put people in trouble with their school or job. And now, some employers are firing people for their Facebook posts.

"We're acting our lives out online without thinking of the implications," Lori Andrews, author of I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did.

Andrews said these days not much is truly private, with 75 percent of employers requiring their human resources officials to look at workers' social network profile before they offer someone a job.

Columbia attorney Chuck Thompson said employers often keep looking. He cited the example of someone who was offered a job at Cisco and tweeted, "Cisco just offered me a job now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work."

"One of his followers on Twitter was a Cisco employee and reported it to the hiring manager and the offer was revoked," Thompson said.

Thompson said not every case is cut and dry. It can depend on whether you work for the government or a private company, and there is more protection if you post something and open it up to comments.

"If that involves a discussion with other workers or is even just an invitation to other workers, hey let's discuss this, then that's generally going to be protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act," Thompson said.

And Andrews said she believes what we write or post should be better protected by the law.

"If a cop wanted to enter my home, he'd need a warrant. If my boss wanted to crash a party I was having, he would be guilty of trespass, and yet we allow our future employers and employers to look at our social network page," Andrews said.

She said right now, there are a few state and federal laws to protect people. Workers could end up with a legal fight on their hands if they lose a job for an online post.

Andrews' advice is to protect yourself.

"You have to be conscious of what you're posting," she said.

Some states have laws that say anything that is legal an employee does off duty cannot be used against them in their employment. However, most states including South Carolina do not have that law.

Andrews said people should use the highest privacy setting possible on Facebook, to not let friends tag them in photos without permission and know that a third of the time, employers turn potential hires down for something they found online.

And even if something is deleted, there are companies that save the past seven years of Facebook pages and market them to employers.

For employers, the laws are changing and Thompson said they should always consult an attorney before making a decision on an employee's status because of what they posted online.

Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Coroner: Girl's body was found in abandoned trailer's bathroom

    Friday, July 18 2014 3:26 PM EDT2014-07-18 19:26:33 GMT
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer.More >>
    It's been an extremely difficult day for family and friends as well as officers. So many people were crying, upset as the body of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson was removed from an abandoned trailer. Coroner Gary Hargrove said Janaya's body was found in a bathroom.More >>
  • Parents on high alert after attempted kidnapping in Bayou View

    Parents on high alert after attempted kidnapping in Bayou View

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:29:59 GMT
    Parents in the Bayou View Community of Gulfport are on high alert, after a reported attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl from her home.More >>
    Parents in the Bayou View Community of Gulfport are on high alert, after a reported attempted kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl from her home.More >>
  • No hotel deal means Margaritaville Biloxi will close

    No hotel deal means Margaritaville Biloxi will close

    Monday, July 21 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-22 02:00:03 GMT
    The Board of Directors of Margaritaville Casino said they have been unable to put together a deal to build a hotel, and that means Margaritaville can't compete in the Biloxi market.
    More >>
    The Board of Directors of Margaritaville Casino said they have been unable to put together a deal to build a hotel, and that means Margaritaville can't compete in the Biloxi market. As of today, the casino is planning to close its doors by September 19.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.