Can person be let go and then denied unemployment for a statement made on social media?

Even though no names were mentioned?

Asked on July 27, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you don't have a written employment contract or agreement, you are an "employee at will" and may be terminated at any time, for any reason whatsoever--including social media statements.

If the statement is anti-company, anti-supervisor or -coworker, anti-customer or -vendor, or otherwise is one which will damage the employer in some way (e.g. a racist statement, which damages the employee's employer by association), then the termination could be considered to be "for cause," which would deny the person unemployment compensation. If the employee disagrees with that, he/she can appeal the denial to the unemployment agency/board, which will decide if the statement rises to the level of constitute "for cause" grounds for dismissal. Even if there were no names, if the person(s), company(ies) etc. involved are identifiable, then it could still possible result in a for cause termination. 

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