1. A private employer had a policy on the “appropriate use of social media” which stated that employees could not post material on social media accounts that identified them as employees of the organization and presented or advocated positions that directly contradicted the ethics of the organization. The organization had a very detailed value statement that declared the organization was a supporter of human rights for all people without regard to gender, race, national origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, or disability. All employees were given a copy of the policy. An employee who had a Facebook page reposted a Tweet from a politician stating that non-citizens should have no human rights if they were in the country illegally. Another employee forwarded a screenshot of the post to the Human Resources department. The Human Resource department investigated and concluded the post violated the policy. The employee responded that the post was protected by the First Amendment. The organization terminated the employee.

1. Did the employer violate the employee’s First Amendment rights?

2. The employee later said that the employer’s action fell under the public policy exception to employment at will because it restricted the employee’s participation in the political process. Would the public policy exception apply?


    • 16 days ago
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