Should What Someone Says on Social Media Be Grounds for Getting Fired?


Sarah Ghaffari, Writer

All day at work, employees deal with ill-mannered customers and annoyances from their bosses. All they want to do is go home and vent on social media, but they can’t. They are worried that their employer will see and possibly take offense. Nowadays, social media is meant to be an outlet to express yourself. Although, it is true that once one posts something publicly, it can be seen by anyone. This can draw unwanted negative attention to a company if what is posted is perceived as demeaning and unpleasant. Should posting about an intolerable customer or a hounding boss be seen as a viable reason for employment termination?


Nicole Becker, a senior at Oakdale, gave her view on the matter: “I often worry about if my boss will see my tweets. It is my social media, so I should be allowed to post anything I want without having to worry about who will get offended.”


“When an employer hires you, they expect you to be professional and respectful. They choose you to represent their brand, and insulting someone should be grounds for termination,” junior Morgan Wheeler acknowledges.


One can make the argument that as long as it doesn’t threaten the company, such as an employee threatening to burn down their place of work, then it shouldn’t act as grounds for firing them.


If someone is not allowed their First Amendment, then it is a violation of their rights. It would be outlandish to be fired for one’s religious views that are protected under the Bill of Rights, and under the same pretense, it should be far-fetched to fire someone for their protected freedom of speech.


“There is no point of social media if one is not allowed to express themselves. It is for personal entertainment and interacting with my friends. Work and home should be kept separate,” Becker continues.


“Employees are directly linked to a company. Yes, social media is used for your own personal entertainment, but it is not private. It shows the company’s standards if they hire someone who posts tasteless things, whether it be about family, friends, or your job. When what you say reflects poorly on a company, then it is fair to let you go. You were not forced to apply to the job so if you are constantly posting about how horrible it is, then you might as well quit if you weren’t fired already,” counters Wheeler.


Anything on social media can be seen by the public, but if one attempts to keep something on their profile private, or among friends, and it is somehow seen by a boss then the employee shouldn’t be fired. However, if one makes information visible for all, and is in some way demeaning, or offensive, they should be subject to public opinion.


One could conclude that whatever they put on the internet has the capability to be seen by anyone and if they are not able to accept responsibility for what they post, then they should not be sharing it.