Our Los Angeles employment attorneys often receive questions from people who have had issues with their employers over the use of social networking sites like Facebook or microblogging platforms such as Twitter. A majority of these questions frequently involve something an employee wrote on such a website that he or she believes led to his or her firing, and unfortunately, more often than not there is no legal action that can be taken.
Unless otherwise specified in an employment contract, many Californians enter into an “at-will” employment agreement with their employers. This means either party can terminate the relationship with no liability “for good cause, bad cause or no cause at all.” In other words, if your employer terminated you for something you wrote on a social networking site, it does not matter how the employer found it, whether you intended for it to be private or even if what you said was true. A company can fire an “at-will” employee for any reason whatsoever so long as it is not an illegal reason, such as a termination involving some form of employment discrimination.
This is not to say that you should avoid using social networking websites. You just need to be careful what you decide to share on them. Over the next couple of days, we will examine some of the things people should keep in mind, whether they are looking for a job or do not want to lose the ones they already have.
Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob – Los Angeles employment lawyers