Is it legal to fire someone for bad mouthing a specific person or business on on-line?

UPDATED: Aug 22, 2011

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Is it legal to fire someone for bad mouthing a specific person or business on on-line?

All of this happened on the employee’s own time. The specific person or business had no attachment to the company the employee worked for.

Asked on August 22, 2011 Colorado


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Actually an employee can be fired for this or anything or even for no reason at all. It's known as "at will" employment. In turn an employee can choose to work, or continue to work, for an employer. So the employer in question has violated no laws. Such a dismissal was perfectly legal.

The above holds true unless there was exiting company policy to the contrary, or this termination was prohibited by a union agreement or employment contract. As always, no formof actionable discrimination must have played a factor. If any of the foregoing were the case, that would give rise to a claim for wrongful termination.

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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