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An interesting firing story Federal

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  • An interesting firing story Federal

    Essentially a young man posts an objectionable pic on his FaceBook page, someone sees that and takes it to his boss via...of all things...FaceBook.

    Customers raise a hackle and the young man loses his job.

    I figure that what someone does in their personal life, even on FaceBook, is their personal life. Ok, granted this pic was of an actor portraying a cop that had been shot, with the quote referring to the only good cop is a dead cop. And while I myself think that's certainly distasteful and inappropriate, he did not do it on the employer's page. From my own experience I'd say that it's totally inappropriate for customers to pull a stunt like that.

    I am uncertain if in such a case the young man could sue, either way. Asking to be fired or being fired. While it is legal to fire for any non-protected reason, is it legal to fire someone based on their use of their Constitutional rights? But then, getting into the legality of hiring versus firing and the use of Constitutional rights leaves me light headed. State & federal law say one thing, however there are federal laws that also say that deprivation of Constitutional rights is an actionable charge. If you have a sign in your yard that I object to, I cannot go up and cover it. Though covering it would be miniscule compared to tearing it up. However, that also goes off into other Constitutional rights, such as the freedom of religion (which truly itself is a misunderstanding of law) as the young man's freedom of speech is right there next to it.

    Reference: http://www.ksl.com/?sid=32241504&nid...s_cid=toppick3

    No I do not know the young man, though I have been to that restaurant at least once that I can think of a couple years back.
    I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
    Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
    I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
    Don't worry, be happy.

    http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

  • #2
    The First Amendment says that the government cannot restrict your speech. It says nothing about your employer. If your employer is not the government, your employer can fire you for what you say if the employer finds it objectionable. Although there are a few exceptions to that, those exceptions do not apply in this instance.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is one reason why, at hire, we ask that employees check the privacy settings on all social media and then be careful what customers they friend. We prefer they are set to just friends, so that customers can't see what they post. Keeps both sides happier and hopefully prevents this type of incident.

      It became the employer's business when a customer brought it to their attention. The employer didn't term because the employer found it, but because it now interfered with business activity. I agree with CBG. The employee has the free speech right to say it, but has to deal with the consequences of that speech.

      Comment


      • #4
        There is no pleasing everybody so companies just have to do what is in their own best interest. I'd have probably acted similarly to the restaurant. I can do nicely without an employee who advocates murder. If the family of someone who attacked police officers with a sword has a problem with that, I can live with that too.
        I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

        Comment


        • #5
          It seems it was in the employer's best interest to let the employee go & legal.
          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think you guys are correct. However, what troubles me is the trouble and employer can get into if they discriminate on religion, which truly according to the 1st Amendment is only the government facing restrictions, yet speech, which is covered under the same amendment, is a legal terminator.

            When you look at the constitution you'll find that really does not define rights as much as placing restrictions and responsibilities on the government.


            BTW, I started this thread as a debate item (I love debating, in case you havn't noticed).
            I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
            Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
            I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
            Don't worry, be happy.

            http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

            Comment


            • #7
              But under that Amendment, the right to free speech is specifically defined.

              And didn't you just IM me that you'd deleted a post because you found the way the poster, posted, objectionable? If all speech is protected from everyone, doesn't that mean you just violated his rights?

              (I'm debating - I don't actually object to your deletion)
              Last edited by cbg; 11-08-2014, 04:24 PM.
              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

              Comment


              • #8
                CJ - are you saying an employee can say/post anything they want & the employer cannot fire them? It doesn't work that way. Even if they had the right to say it/post it, doesn't mean the employer doesn't also have the right to fire the person for it. (with a few exceptions though not in the case you posted)
                Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think he's questioning why it is that way, not that it is.
                  The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It just seemed to me he was thinking it was against the 1st Amendment to fire the employee due to freedom of speech. That's not true though - several responders posted why it's that way. It's just not in the Amendment.
                    Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                    Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      cbg I undeleted Rasters post.

                      No, I think the issue here is not that someone CAN be fired for them expressing their opinion, however then line between firing someone over an unfavorable opinion and unfavorable region IS getting thinner.
                      Look at the Church of Euthensia, for example (http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/).
                      Or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (http://www.venganza.org/).
                      Or worse, Church of the Creator (http://creativitymovement.net/ & http://www.splcenter.org/get-informe...ivity-movement). I have spoke about this before.

                      So in this case a fellow is fired for a rather unsightly meme of a cop having been killed in the line of duty. On his private time, on his private FB page. NOTHING relating him to his employer. Customers saw it and complained and he was fired. Ok. But...it was done in no relation to the employer.

                      Now look at it from this angle- let's pretend the conditions are much different...The employer is the same, except the owner is Jewish. The cook is seen wearing a World Church of the Creator t-shirt. Turns out he's a member, though he also says outright that he has no difficulty with his boss who is Jewish. Now we have a conflict of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. The owner has to fire the cook because he has expressed white supremacist/anti-judaisic leanings and customers have seen it. But wait, the owner can't because it's a religious issue now.

                      THAT is what I'm getting at. The fine line is getting thinner, to the point that either direction people can be fired for their opinion of who their god is (which is illegal) or the religion their boss does not approve of (which is illegal).
                      cactus jack
                      Senior Member
                      Last edited by cactus jack; 11-08-2014, 09:41 PM.
                      I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
                      Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
                      I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
                      Don't worry, be happy.

                      http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But the conditions are not the same. It didn't happen that way, and he wasn't fired because of his religion.
                        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Agree - 2 different things. Religion is a protected reason to keep someone from being discriminated against. The case you presented has no such protection.
                          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                          Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            True, except you missed the last two paragraphs of what I said.
                            I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
                            Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
                            I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
                            Don't worry, be happy.

                            http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I didn't miss it. I just don't agree with it.
                              The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

                              Comment

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