In this article, people share how they lost their job because of a social media post.
[Source can be found at the end of the article]
I posted a blog post on MySpace in 2005 that got me discharged from the Army. I indicated I had romantic feelings for a female and that I had acted on those feelings (I am also female). My sergeant suspected I was involved with this woman so she looked me up on MySpace, saw the blog post, and 3 months later, I was discharged for “homosexual conduct”.
I had to fire someone for one. He was a volunteer firefighter and left for a call which I allowed. Fifteen minutes later someone showed me his 5 minute old post of him riding quads saying something along the lines of “some times you just need to F off from work.” That put him on a final warning. He then left because he said HIS house was on fire then half an hour later his wife tagged him in a photo of him sitting in a kiddie pool in front of his house.
The funny thing is, in both cases, if he had simply asked to leave early I probably would have said yes.
I work in a hospital and there was a police shooting in my area a couple of years ago and multiple officers were brought into our ER. One officer was DOA and a number of stupid hospital employees posted condolences on their Facebook pages with the name of the officer before the family was officially informed. If memory serves 7 or 8 employees were rightfully fired for that one.
I had to fire an employee for a tweet he wrote about a customer. He tweeted “(customer’s full name) would be a great name for a porn star.”
I found out about it when the customer’s lawyer called me the next day threatening action. Turns out the guy worked for the local newspaper and obsessively searched his name on all social media.
The company I work for. A prospective employee just passed his interview, and was told that all he needs to do is pass a drug test and a physical and he would start on Monday. The company Facebook guy found the new hire on Facebook and the guy had just posted 20 minutes after the interview, “Anyone know how to pass a drug test in 24 hours?!”
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I used to work for Geek Squad in college and a coworker was fired when a famous actor came in and she posted on Facebook a lot of his private info. Like full name came into our store and bought this and this and has a black Amex card and stuff he had on his computer … not once but on 2 separate occasions.
A company I worked for had it written into their 7-page contracts that you were not allowed to even reference said company on social media. Anyone in breach would be fired instantly.
There’s a page on Facebook called “We Hate ____” that’s currently one of the world’s biggest corporate-hate pages.
It all started when someone working in our call centre posted online about how much the customers suck. Then began something of a war between the staff and customers, customers posting on employees’ walls and vice versa.
The company was/is a major player in it’s market (essentially had a monopoly) and there was a noticeable drop in sales that year.
All in all, around 20 people were fired.
My female friend (18) was DM’d through twitter by the news presenter (37) of our city. He was talking about her beach pictures and how she is really pretty and how they need to get together. She ended up telling him that it’s pretty ridiculous that he’s trying to get with her. He lost his job later that week. The only real reason he lost his job was because he used the weather channels twitter account.
I worked customer support for a mobile game company. I was honest with a disheartened customer, who had complained that recent changes had made the game pay to win. It had, in truth, been a glitch with an update. I told them as much, assuring them the team would be fixing it in the next update. But then the games profits skyrocketed. The team kept the glitch, and put out a statement describing the change as an intentional one designed to improve the play experience. But there was my name, plastered all over the game forums, claiming the opposite. I technically worked for a separate company that provided support for several studios, but the studio behind this game was our biggest customer. They approached my bosses, furious I jeopardised their cash cow, and demanded I be fired. I promptly became familiar with the underside of the bus, as I was gone within the week.
I was on the job a week at a law firm, and had to ride with one of the female employees to the UPS store. She was a terrible driver, and almost wrecked multiple times. I posted on Facebook, “One week on the job and my coworker is trying to kill me; worst driver ever.” The next day I was called into my bosses office with the girl sitting there with an expressionless look on her face, and there was a printout of my post. It was awkward and they fired me on the spot. All of my account information was also set to private, so they figured a way to check my activity.
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I was let go from the nations third largest insurance company for what were called “offensive tweets”. Apparently someone with my similar name was tweeting vulgar things to comedy accounts and they brought me into hr and terminated me. Yes I sued for wrongful termination, so I could finish getting my MBA.
Someone I know posted something about a customer on her Facebook. Nothing revealing about the customer, just “Ugh, don’t you hate when your customers are too stupid to understand!!”
A “friend” of hers, who worked for a competing business, took a screenshot of that status, including the profile pic of her in her work uniform… This then found itself posted on the competitors Facebook page with the text “Don’t worry guys she doesn’t work here.”
Anyway, she got fired.
My friend and his girlfriend (at the time) both worked at Zellers. He worked as the head cook in the in-store restaurant, and she worked as a server/hostess. After a few years of being together, they decided to get married. They announced their engagement proudly to everyone, and the branch manager of their Zellers gave them a massive discount on food and supplies for the wedding. The wedding preparation took nearly a year, but they pulled it off and had a great wedding. When they went to return to work, however, my friend’s wife was promptly dismissed because “husbands and wives aren’t allowed to work in the same department.” After months of lead-up to their wedding, the manager somehow forgot to inform the happy couple that getting married would mean one of them being let go.
So my friend posted on his Facebook. “Zellers has a policy where a husband and wife may not work in the same department. Because they did not tell me and my wife this policy, my wife has been fired. If you disagree with this policy, please contact Zellers at **********.”
The next day, he was fired as well.
I asked for an afternoon off because my best friend was having a cancer scare and he was going to the hospital that afternoon for screening, so I wanted to be there for him. I was very open about why I wanted the time off, and my boss said I could take the time off, as long as I took it unpaid instead of using it as vacation time.
I went and met my friend at the hospital, but he was almost done, and since I was cleared for the day, I took him out for a drink- you know, like you do when someone thinks they have cancer. He checked us in on Facebook. I legitimately wasn’t trying to hide anything. I wasn’t trying to sneak around.
So my boss calls me in the next morning and has my Facebook up on his monitor. I was friends with a coworker, who had turned me in. I explained what had happened, and he still fired me on the spot. The aftermath was that when I filed for unemployment, we had to go to a hearing and explain the whole situation to a judge, who basically told him that he was wrong. So there you go.
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A coworker of mine got fired, leading to me getting a huge promotion and pay raise and taking her position. We had had a staff meeting that day at lunch, during which this employee and my boss disagreed and debated on a topic (respectfully). The employee went home and that night posted a long status that, although it didn’t say “my boss” or anyone’s name in particular, was obviously about what had happened at the meeting. My boss was battling breast cancer at the time, and the employee posted something like, “Hate that [derogatory term], can’t wait till the cancer gets you…” Everyone at work had been Facebook friends with her and knew about it by the following morning. She was let go within the week.
A girl I went to college with (in the same program as me) interviewed for a position at the school I teach at. The principal loved her but then we found tweets from her asking to borrow a gun to go to the interview (I teach at an urban, inner city school).
It gets worse. She then went on to post a similar status on Facebook, something to the tune of “My ride to work will be all click, click, lockin my doors!”
The principal printed out the tweets and confronted her with them at the final interview. She said they were meant as a joke and the principal stone face responded “I’m not laughing.”
She was blacklisted. She still (4 years or so later) cannot get a teaching job.
I’ve seen people fired for the following:
Posts insulting a supervisor, the employer, customers, coworkers;
Posts that show the employee has been lying about something (e.g., he’s been out on FMLA leave claiming he’s in so much pain he can’t sit upright at his desk, and then he posts a picture of himself weightlifting).
Posts showing the employee is violating the rules of the workplace, especially w/r/t safety or hygiene (e.g., a factory worker posting a pic of himself climbing on dangerous machinery).
Posts so offensive that the company could suffer PR damage if the general public knew this person was an employee (e.g., racist/sexist jokes, posts advocating the overthrow of the government, posts by a doctor mocking a patient’s illness, posts by an employee bragging about how she is so overpaid, etc.).
It’s worth noting that most employees in the U.S. are at-will by default. That means you can quit for any reason at any time, but your employer can also fire you for any reason at any time. There are obviously exceptions to this (e.g., if there is a contract that provides otherwise, if the employer fires you for an illegal reason, etc.), but unless some exception applies to your situation there’s usually nothing wrong with an employer looking at your stupid facebook posts and deciding… eh, not really someone we’d like to have on board.
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Former Chipotle manager here- as many of you know, Chipotle gives away free stuff on Halloween. So it’s a mandatory weekend for everyone to work. Well, one of our employees called off that Thursday saying he had swine flu… right.
Of course he posted pics of his weekend parting on his Facebook. Upon which he was friends with our kitchen manager, general manager, and district manager.
Per company policy (and common sense) you can’t return to work from serious contagious disease without a doctor’s note. So he shows back up on Wednesday acting all fine and saying the doc cleared him. Oh, but his mom threw his release note away. Too bad buddy, we need that or you can’t work. Since we didn’t know when he would have it, we only gave him one day on the schedule anyway.
So then HIS MOMMY calls me and asks why he can’t work. I ask her, if she went to a restaurant and found out a cook hadn’t proven he was cleared from having swine flu, would she eat there? She saw my point. But it’s not his fault she threw away the note! They were REMODELING! I asked, why can’t the doc write a new one? Well, he went on vacation! …couldn’t the receptionist or a P.A. get them something? She huffed and hung up on me.
The next day he puts on Facebook “Dear Chipotle and managers: instead of cutting hours on someone, why not have the guts to fire them outright?”
Pretty easy to let him go after that…
I was working as a bartender and server for a place. The assistant manager was a petty tyrant and treated the staff terribly. I had made several complaints about him to the general manager and the owner with some of the other staff, but they refused to do anything about it. So I was done with this place, and was currently looking for a new job, when one day I was bartending and a very young looking girl came.
She hands me her out of state ID, and I can tell that it is fake. I politely tell her that I can’t serve her alcohol, and explain that in this state we don’t legally have to accept out of state IDs, blah blah blah. She was actually very understanding and there was no scene or issue. Her other friends arrive and they move to a table and I informed their server about the fake ID. It is around this time that the assistant manager who had been drinking bloody mary’s at the bar next door all morning and then napping in the office came over. He then starts telling me that I don’t know what a fake ID looks like and I don’t have the right to refuse service and how stupid I am. He then tells me I have to serve the girl. I inform him that I have the legal right to refuse service, and he cannot force me to. Anyway, I go home and post on the Facebook about my day, and then include a photo of when I was managing a liquor store holding a device of medieval defense made out of all the fake IDs we had confiscated in one year. Also a crown. The next day I was called in and let go for refusing to cooperate with management and what have you.
In 2009, I was quoted in an article that was published on Facebook and then shared by one of my friends. The owner of the company for which I worked saw it and fired me immediately saying I just wasn’t fitting in with the culture. I had volunteered at the NORML tent during the Pride festival. And I told him I would take a drug test right then and there (I wasn’t smoking pot at the time), but he said it wasn’t that, it was “the other thing.” The VP at the time told me I was fired because it was now public knowledge that I was at a gay festival. The VP was (is) gay and had been keeping it a secret because of the stigma around the company. I filed for unemployment and they rejected it saying I had been late to work too frequently (less than 5 minutes, 2 times in a year). If I hadn’t found something else within 2 weeks, I would have fought it.
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Comcast fired me for a tweet I made. Here’s what happened:
Someone on my timeline posted an article about Comcast customer service. Someone replied to him saying, “wow, Comcast actually has customer service? lol!”
Working in customer service myself, I reply (from a personal account that is in no way connected with my job) with the tweet, “Yup, we do. We complain about management as much as you do.”
Comcast did not like that. Despite me having zero personal details on Twitter, they somehow still figured out it was me. I realized after that I had GPS autolocate on for my tweets, so I suppose they could have looked through that data to figure out where I lived. (I checked, it’s clear what house I live in whenever I tweet about being home.)
Anyway, the point is, they linked the account back to me and fired me for suggesting the employees are anything other than 100% happy all day at work. Seriously, that’s almost what they said to me when they fired me. The best I can recall it was: “You said the employees aren’t happy. We can’t have people suggesting the employees are in any way unhappy with management, it makes us look bad as a company. Comcast has worked extremely hard to get the reputation it currently has and things like this will make people see Comcast in a negative light, which is unacceptable.”
They also implied (though did not outright state) they’re letting legal look at it to see if they have a libel case against me. It’s been 5 months and I haven’t heard a damn thing from them, so I assume not.
The weirdest part was, the woman firing me seemed completely unaware the general public hates Comcast.
A few years back, there was this woman who was the secretary to my employer’s vice president. Sometimes she’d be asked to cover the President/CEO’s secretary’s position, if she (CEO’s secretary) was out sick. She also oversaw/managed the front receptionist and file room clerk positions. She thought she was over anyone who had the title of “Administrative Assistant”, even if it was specifically for a particular department. Several times she tried to get me to do something outside of my department, when I had a million other things in my own department that I had to do. One time when I was doing something for her, my boss asked what I was doing. I explained to him, and he went off on the VP’s secretary. She tried to say that the file clerk was busy with one thing, and the front desk receptionist was busy with another thing, but my immediate boss wouldn’t hear of it. After that, I never heard one peep out of her.
Now, back to what got her fired. She apparently had been fussed at over something by the CEO or one of his daughters, who also work at the company (family-owned). She went to MySpace (back when it was popular) and posted a long rant about the CEO, his daughters, the CEO’s secretary, the VP, and several other people. She posted about how things are handled at the company, and other stuff. She was friends with a few coworkers, and I think it was one of those coworkers who printed out the post and gave it to one of the daughters or the CEO. When I came into work, I found out she’d been fired.
It was a huge relief for a lot of us. She’d been nothing but a horrible person to a lot of people, thinking just because she oversaw the front desk and file room, she had power over all other administrative assistants/secretaries. After she was fired, I think the I.T. Manager took over the front desk and file room, but he kept it pretty much just front desk and file room. He never bothered me about doing something extra like making up binders for a certification class to be taught there, or help set up for some outdoor event we were having (used to have one every year), or anything of that nature. Only time I’ve ever interacted with him was when it involved my computer or the department’s printer.