Can you be fired for complaining about your job on Facebook?

By Christine Webb, Web Anchor
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 4:57 PM EDT
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Do you think employers should be allowed to fire someone because of a Facebook post?

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Could complaining about your job on sites like Facebook get you fired?

Technology has changed the way we talk to our friends, family and even our co-workers.

But what are your rights when it comes to talking about work online? Should you be allowed to say what you want?

We asked some folks on the streets of downtown Orlando what they thought. Here's what they said:

"No I don't. I think you should keep your business to yourself."

"I think Facebook is your own page, so I feel you should do whatever you want on it."

And it seems the government agrees.

Recently, the National Labor Relations Board issued a series of rulings and advisories that have made it illegal for employers to fire anyone who casts the company in an unfavorable light online.

"I am seeing a lot more of it, and there hasn't been a large body of case law that has interpreted what's going to come from this," said Steve Ball, a labor and employment attorney at the Orlando law firm Holland & Knight.

Because social media is so new, there could be different interpretations of what free speech means on sites like Facebook.

As it stands now, the NLRB says employees have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook.

However, not all work-related speech is protected. For example, your employer can still fire you if you post something negative about a client or customers on Facebook.

So, what are your rights as an employee?

"I would say be very careful what you are posting on social media, because it can be seen by anyone," said Ball.

Can an employer ask for your login and password on Facebook? Ball says,"That's still up in the air and being discussed. If I were counseling employers, I would tell them not to do it at this time."

What do you think?

Should employers have the right to fire someone over Facebook posts? Vote in our Viewer Poll. ▲
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