Can the federal government fire you for a facebook post?

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2016

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Can the federal government fire you for a facebook post?

I understand the first amendment protects us from the government so a private employer can fire you over a Facebook post but what about government employees?

Asked on April 6, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

There are limitations to the 1st Amendment. You can't be fired by a government employer for a political or religious post, or one expressing values in a general sense not specifically tied to your job; but the Amendment does not protect you if you personally criticize or attack a supervisor, if you post something which impairs the employer's mission or functioning, if you release confidential information, if your post is part of or contributes to illegal discrimination or harassment (e.g. sexual, racial, religious) against a co-worker, etc. You could also be fired for posting to social media during the work day when you should be working, or from employer-provided computers or systems, if there are limitations on employee use of such equipment.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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