Can I be fired for something that I wrote online?

Asked on August 3, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Assuming that you are referring to something yuou posted on a social networking site, then the answer is yes; you can be fired for such a posting. The fact is that in an "at will" employment work arrangement an employer can set the terms and conditions of theworkplace as it sees fit. This includes dismissing an employee for comments made online. This is true unless an employee has protection pursuant to an employment contract, union agreement, etc. that prohibits discipline for this type of activity or their treatment constitutes some form of actionable discrimination.

That having been said, there is an exception regarding dismissal of an employee for such postings. If the comments amounted to "protected concerted activity", then under federal labor law, an employer cannot fire a worker for such posts. In some cases it has been found that online comments are no different than workers gathering around "the water cooler" to talk about conditions in the workplace. The NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) prohibits employers from punishing employees for discussing about workplace conditions, wages or forming a union.

Since you gave no psecific details, it's hard to advise further. At this point you can consult directly with an employment law attorney in your area.


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