Can an employer terminate an employee because of someone else’s comments on social media?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an employer terminate an employee because of someone else’s comments on social media?

A friend posted something on social media to which I made comments none negative about caseload and staff feeling stressed. Someone brought it to the HR directors attention and I was let go. I asked if there was a social media policy and was basically told not really. Some former employees did make negative comments on the post but I didn’t. I was told as a Supervisor I need to show loyalty to the company and not engage on this type of activity. The HR director also stated my termination had nothing to do with my performance as a supervisor as I was really good at my job and everyone respected me. Why terminate me then? And even allow me to collect unemployment?

Asked on March 6, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Connecticut


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Does this action violate the terms of an employment contract or union agreement? Does it constitute some form of legally actionable discrimination (and based on what you write it does not appear to)? If not, then as an "at will" employee, your company can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit. This means that a worker can be terminated for any reason or no reason at all, with or without notice

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