Although we have rights like the first amendment, we are still held accountable to our actions off the clock. If your actions on social media and behavior outside of work lead your employer to believe you are compromising the company policy then this could impact your career and lead to termination. Have you ever gossiped about someone at work or acted out in public outside of work? You could potentially be creating a hostile work environment by gossiping about coworkers. With emerging technology, smartphones and social media we have now crossed lines between personal and professional lives. If you are acting out in public and prone to aggressive behavior or violence this is leeway for employers to take action against you to maintain a safe and peaceful workplace. In every U.S. state except Montana employers can hire and fire workers for just about any reason except discriminatory ones.
Discrimination is based on status such as race or sex, not behavior. Laws in a few states including California, Colorado and New York make it harder for companies to fire people for off -the-clock behavior. Union represented employees or high-ranking executives stipulate that workers can be terminated only “for cause.” The “cause” refers to specifically performing poorly or violating corporate policies. Employers have wide latitude to fire people for things they say or do online and in public off the clock but that doesn’t mean that your employer will admit to firing you for discriminatory reasons.
If you feel that you have been wrongfully terminated, or you have been discriminated against because of your disability and would like to know your rights as an employee in the state of California, please contact the attorneys at the California Employment Legal Group today for a free consultation with an experienced employment lawyer.