If my boss dug through my personal facebook account private messages that all sent before hirea nd fired me for the content, do I have a case?

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If my boss dug through my personal facebook account private messages that all sent before hirea nd fired me for the content, do I have a case?

On day 1 she told me that if anyone ever filed a HR complaint against any of her staff, that they would all lie to cover themselves and then fire the whistle blower. On day 8 she went through all of my personal e-mails on my facebook account (all sent prior to employment) and fired me because one of them was a joke with a friend about faking a drug test (I passed my drug test there fair and square). Regardless of the content, she dug deeply through my messages; these weren’t posted on the public viewing area or anything like that.

Asked on August 9, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have an employment contract, you were an employee at will and could be fired at any time, for any reason--including reasons coming out of a wrongful invasion of your privacy (see below). Therefore, you most likely have no recourse against the termination itself.

However, your boss may not go through your private Facebook account without your permission. Doing so could result in civil and even possibly criminal liability owing to invaction of privacy and violaton of laws relating to online privacy. You should speak with an attorney with experience in this area about what causes of action, against who (i.e. just against your boss? or against boss and company?) you could potentially bring.


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