Fired over Facebook. It is a tale that makes headlines far too often. In September of 2015, a Polaris Marketing Group employee posted what seemed to be an innocent picture of himself and the son of a co-worker onto Facebook. Comments that were made on that post, most notably a conversation that quickly could have been ended by the employee, resulted in that person being fired because of the Facebook post. This incident serves as a reminder that the statuses and pictures that you post on Facebook could get you fired even if what you initially post is nothing controversial, offensive or illegal.
There should no longer be any doubts that employers investigate current and would-be employees via social media accounts, Facebook pages included. More than ever, Facebook users would be wise to think and then think again before posting any status, comment, picture, meme or anything that could be taken the wrong way – or even the right way – on their accounts. Think that a certain joke is harmless? Are you willing to risk getting fired over what you deem to be a humorous statement? If not, then leave it off of your Facebook and live to joke another day and another way.
A schoolteacher who did not think twice before pressing the “Post” button found on her Facebook account page. The waitress who took to Facebook to complain about her job and the fact that she did not receive an adequate tip. The crew members who never thought that their Facebook posts about equipment or about the passengers who boarded planes. All of them have one thing in common: They were fired, at one point or another, all because of Facebook activities. Maybe next time, each of those people will choose to complain to a therapist instead. It is more expensive than Facebook, sure, but at least they won’t have to worry about being fired.
10. New Jersey Cop Fired Over Gorilla Comment
Anthony Caruso was working as a lieutenant for the Newark Police Department when he stumbled upon a public Facebook post sent to him. It was a picture of a gorilla that included the following caption: “LMFAO…How’s your mayor?” Rather than delete the post or just move on, Caruso chose to respond with a single word: “Exactly!” That, as explained by the Daily News, is a no-no per the department’s code of conduct, which “prohibits employees from making any comment or opinion that defames the department or is derogatory in nature towards the City of Newark or any of its employees.” Caruso was fired, but he was fighting his termination as of early October 2015.
9. Buckingham Palace Guard Disses Kate and William
Posting something negative on Facebook about your boss is a recipe for disaster. That is particularly true when your bosses are literally royalty. Cameron Reilly was serving as a Buckingham Palace guard in 2011 when he, according to the Mirror, took to Facebook to hit out at Kate Middleton and Prince William. Among the many regrettable words that he used, Reilly called Middleton a “posh b—–.” He also used other words that will not be posted on this website. Not only was Reilly given the boot. He was, per the Mirror story, axed the same day as the royal wedding.
8. Pierogi Calls Out Pittsburgh Pirates Front Office
The Great Pittsburgh Pierogi Race N’at has been a mainstay of Pittsburgh Pirates home games for years. Andrew Kurtz was one of the men who wore a pierogi mascot costume and raced other costumed pierogies during the 2010 Major League Baseball season. That came to an end, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, after negative Facebook comments that Kurtz posted about members of the Pittsburgh front office saw the light of day. This story at least has a happy ending. Kurtz was welcomed back to the pierogi race after, according to Trib Total Media, he was told that he should not have been fired in the first place.
7. Teacher Gets Fired For Having a Beer
Ever wonder why a friend of yours who works as a teacher does not have his real first and last name linked with his Facebook account? Don’t understand why teachers un-tag themselves from certain Facebook pictures? Ashley Payne could probably explain it all to you. Payne was working as a public high school teacher in 2011 when pictures of a summer vacation that showed her consuming alcohol were discovered by her school’s principal. She claimed, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution story, that she was forced to resign over the matter. Payne fought the matter in court, but she lost. Her story went national in the United States, as it was picked up by outlets such as CBS News.
6. Virgin Atlantic Crew Members Fired For Criticizing Airline
13 different Virgin Atlantic crew members had a lot to say about their jobs in the fall of 2008. They described some passengers, Virgin Atlantic customers, as “chavs” according to The Independent. That same story also states that the Virgin employees made negative comments about flight safety standards. Upon learning of these Facebook posts, the airline responded:
Virgin Atlantic can confirm that 13 members of its cabin crew will be leaving the company after breaking staff policies due to totally inappropriate behaviour.
Following a thorough investigation, it was found that all 13 staff participated in a discussion on the networking site Facebook, which brought the company into disrepute and insulted some of our passengers.
5. Waitress Fired For Venting About Tip
Waitressing can be a thankless job. Ashley Johnson had a rough day working as a waitress for Brixx Pizza in Charlotte back in 2010. Johnson, per The Charlotte Observer, received a tip of $5 from a couple that had reportedly spent multiple hours at the restaurant. Fired up about the situation, Johnson logged onto her Facebook page to vent her feelings. She mentioned Brixx by name, and she also used an obscenity when describing the customers. Johnson was soon informed by managers of the restaurant that she had violated two different company policies. Her days as a waitress at that establishment were finished.
4. Waitrose Worker Fired For Three Words
James Brennan was working at a Waitrose in central London in 2008 when he posted three words on his Facebook account: “F— the Partnership.” That comment was in reference to the John Lewis Partnership, which owns Waitrose. Brennan soon learned that a private online post is not always private. It was one of Brennan’s colleagues, according to The Telegraph, who informed a boss about the controversial Facebook status, and Brennan was shown the door by the company. Brennan, per the words that he told The Telegraph, would have been better off complaining to a local bartender. One would hope that his bartender would be trustworthy.
3. Teachers Fired For Facebook Flirting With Students
Teachers obviously should not be flirting with students at anytime. A teacher doing so on Facebook, where there is a trail and evidence, is essentially asking to be fired. The New York Post learned in October of 2010 that at least three educators who worked for New York City public schools had been fired for what the paper referred to as “having inappropriate dealings with students on Facebook.” Chadwin Reynolds was one such fired teacher. Reynolds, per the report, became friends on Facebook with female students. “This is sexy” was an example of one of the comments he allegedly posted.
2. Another Waitress Fired For Tip Comments
Kirsten Kelly is yet another waitress who, for a brief moment, forgot that she was representing more than herself in and outside of a restaurant. Kelly was working as a waitress at a Texas Roadhouse in Ohio when she used Facebook to complain about a bad tip. Kelly told WTOL of Toledo, Ohio that her Facebook post was the following: “If you come into a restaurant and spend $50 or more, you should be able to tip appropriately for that.” That same WTOL story, however, states that the Texas Roadhouse Corporate Office informed the station that Kelly’s original post included a derogatory name that had later been removed.
1. #HisNameIsCayden Gets Man Fired For Racist Comments
Gerod Roth of the Polaris Marketing Group, based out of Atlanta, got himself and a three-year-old in the news in September of 2015 all because of a Facebook post. Roth posted a “selfie” that included the young boy in the background on Facebook. Friends and other followers responded to the post made by Roth, who had the name “Geris Hilton” on the social media website, with racist and offensive comments. Roth did not, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, add a comment to the picture. That story claims that Roth did, however, make offensive statements later on in the comment thread. Roth was fired by the company, but that is not the end of the story. A social media movement in support of the child and his family took social media by storm, with the #HisNameIsCayden hashtag serving as the movement’s rallying cry.