CHICAGO, IL, September 16, 2020 /24-7PressRelease/ — We’re living in a politically-charged country. Protests are commonplace and political debates run rampant on social media. It’s only natural that political issues spill over to the workplace from time to time.
At work, squabbles over hot-button topics can sour relationships. Your boss may notice the politically-charged comment you wrote on social media, or he may frown upon a photo of you at a rally or march.
But can you be fired for political views? Is protesting or posting politically charged rhetoric on social media grounds for lawful dismissal? Exactly where do employee social media rights begin and end?
Read on for the answers to these questions and more.
Can You Be Fired For Political Views Or Online Comments?
The answer to this question varies. The short answer is yes; however, it depends on whether you have a private or public sector job. It is important to speak to an employment attorney regarding the specific circumstances.
Many assume that First Amendment rights apply to the workplace. Again, that is not always the case. Employers can create and enforce policies regarding social media. Moreover, an employee is not automatically shielded from termination for comments made online, or outside of the workplace. These days, it may be getting easier to fire employees for what they say.
Employee free speech and social media rights do exist, but circumstances may vary.
Let’s take a more in-depth look:
When Employers Can Fire Employees Over Political Views/Speech
The law allows private-sector employers to fire an employee for a post or comment made online. Employers can also end employment for inflammatory speech, and sometimes for protesting.
This is true even when employees are off-duty. Some states protect free speech for off-duty employees. Illinois is not one of them.
Here are a few circumstances in which you can be fired for political views:
Breaking company policies. (For example, wearing a political T-shirt when the dress code prohibits it).