I Was Fired for a Comment Made on Social Media
A co worker took a camera into work and took pictures of some other co workers.
She posted the pictures as comments on my social network page.
I then left a comment on HER page saying "we work with some hot chicks. you better be careful... that chick will beat you with her cane"
I didn't post pictures, I didn't use names.....
But, I got fired officially because I "created a hostile work environment"
I was never given the chance to take them down, or given a warning or anything. HR said I "hurt peoples feelings", but I don't see how. This social network is suppose to be a personal network. I wasn't using my private page at work or anything... it was all done from home. And again, I didn't use any names.
I think in part, I was fired for leaving my friends comments on my page. The pictures. But how am I being held responsible for what she did?
There was an incident a while ago where another girl wrote something about a guy we work with on a social network and he took it to HR and they said it was an "outside related thing" and there wasn't anything they could do about it. Plus we had a manager who was blogging about people working there and they told him he just needed to set his page to private.
Social media may be for sharing what's personal, but that doesn't mean what you say is kept private, or that if an employer gets wind of what you post, they may not think it is their best interest, or the best interest of any victim of an off the cuff insensitive remark who decides to file an EEOC complaint against the employer for not doing anything.
I can absolutely see why an employer would make the hard choice to discharge, or not, when a good employee is in reality, creating, or adding to an already hostile workplace when an employer has to walk a fine line to protect the company's best interests and those of individual employees if a comment made on
the photo taker's page about the pictures they posted on yours .. offended someone.
I wonder which other co-workers might of been privy to the page and also offended enough to of reported the comment to HR.
Fact is, you helped to create a perceived, or potential threat and responsible employers must be concerned about more potential and costly employee rights that you receiving unemployment benefits for a discharge that may not rise to the employer also meeting their burden of proving your actions .. were a reasonable reason to fire you for misconduct.
You created the potential for a legitimate complaint of disability discrimination and that can literally translate to an even greater risk of financial liability for your employer, should they of chosen to just ignore what you did after a complaint from the individual who was made the butt of the comment, or even a friend their's who was also offended.
Question is .. why don't employees think other employees would go to HR if they, or another is the victim of disability discrimination?
Basically, if the employer did nothing .. they risked not only this person having good cause to quit .. if they could document they were ignored, the an even bigger financial risk .. as in settlement, because they gave you another opportunity to continue to create a hostile work environment .. or illegally discriminate one more time on their watch after being made aware.
The employer did a smart thing when they fired you, at least I think so. Because in all states, with the exception of Montana, an employer doesn't need good cause to deny unemployment benefits.
Frankly what you did when you made that comment is something that could harm the employer's interests if that person you made the comment about wanted to make a big deal for the employer because they did nothing, if she, or any other co-worker, were offended by your comment on social media.
Will you get unemployment? Maybe .. because you're right, it did happen away from work, but what you did do, makes it difficult for me to accept .. you might.