Can I get fired for something I post on my personal Facebook page?

Q2606

I posted something on my personal Facebook page that my employer found offensive and I was subsequently fired. It wasn’t about the company and was done during my own time. Isn’t that an infringement on my First Amendment rights? Can they fire me for expressing myself just because they didn’t like my message?

The First Amendment prohibits the government from abridging freedom of speech in most circumstances, but that does not apply to private employers.

So the short answer is yes, in most circumstances an employer may fire you for what you write and say online and off. There are certain limitations — for example, you are protected by whistleblower laws if you are exposing unlawful or unethical activities within your company.

Many employers review the social-media profiles of prospective employees and may make decisions about whether to hire based on their posts, and employers may also fire someone if they feel an activity undermines the person’s role, authority or the company.

There are as many careers damaged by social media as advanced, so post with caution.

I’m 55 years old. I was recently fired and my position was refilled by someone half my age at half my cost. Isn’t that age discrimination?

First, let me say that I am sorry that you’ve lost your job, but the facts don’t necessarily support a claim of age discrimination.

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