Is a private text message between two people considered social media?

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2015

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Is a private text message between two people considered social media?

I feel that I was wrongfully terminated.

Asked on July 16, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A "private" text message is not social media, BUT:

1) you have no control over what the other person does with it--he/she can forward it, share it, etc. with anyone they like, the same as if you receive a physical letter, you could share it with anyone;

2) if the message was sent over company-supplied devices (e.g. computers or smart phones) or was sent using a company-controlled network, then the employer almost certainly had the right to view the message--there are no privacy rights in or on company communications platforms.

As to wrongful termination: if you were terminated due to something in the message, then unless your termination violated the terms of a written contract, it was *not* wrongful: without a contract, you were an "employee at will" and could be terminated at any time, for any reason, including an inappropriate or offensive message.

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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