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Should You Be Fired for Things You Post on Facebook?

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After this story was posted about a nurse who was fired from Desert View Care Center because of Facebook comments he made a about a patient, our Facebook page blew up with your comments. Some of you said that his comments were taken out of context and that the nurse was “just venting” and his freedom of speech is being stifled… others say that Facebook was not the right place to vent.

I’ll admit that I raise an eyebrow when freedom of speech is questioned like this.  It may be true that his comments were taken out of context and it’s very reasonable to assume he was venting and meant no real harm.  But that doesn’t mean that his choice of a place to vent was well chosen.  Facebook isn’t the place for such strong comments and just because we have freedom to say what we want to say, doesn’t mean our choice of words don’t have consequences.  And if he were arrested for his post, I’d be more likely to rally for freedom of speech… but he wasn’t.  If I were to post on Facebook that I hated the company I worked for or that my bosses were idiots, I would expect consequences.  Even if I were simply having a bad day and venting, it would be the wrong choice.

If I owned a company, I wouldn’t want my employees posting things that could create trouble for my business.  As the OWNER of the business, it would be my right to terminate.

I feel bad about the whole situation and I feel for the guy and I wonder how many more people need to get fired before we learn how much we throw out there for all to see.

According to a new survey from Career Builder, 43% of employers now check social media like Facebook and Twitter before they decide to hire you.  Here are the ten things that are most likely to get you rejected.

Most of them are pretty obvious, but a reminder doesn’t hurt.  (For actual examples, check out this story.)

  • Inappropriate photos, or anything else provocative.
  • Posts about drinking or doing drugs.
  • Negative comments about a former boss or co-worker.
  • Any comments that discriminate against race, gender, or religion.
  • Anything that shows you lied on your resume.
  • Anything you posted about a previous employer that should have been confidential.
  • Anything that links you to criminal behavior.
  • Anything that shows you’ve lied to get a sick day.

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