do teachers not have the same rights to post on social media as everyone else?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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do teachers not have the same rights to post on social media as everyone else?

I am student teaching in a classroom and was
just terminated because I posted a snapchat
story that showed a boy ‘getting in trouble for
saying ‘shit”. His face was barely visible and i
don’t really believe snapchat to be what’s
known as social media. I want to know if this
action was just

Asked on March 8, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, North Dakota


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, as a general rule teachers have the same rights to post on social media as any other employee; they also have the same restrictions. The fact is that an employer may prohibit social networking on work time or posting anything negative about the company any time, etc. So, if your employor had a social networking policy and you violated it, that could be grounds for termination (you'll need to check). That having been said, if your treatment constituted some form of legal discrimination or violated the terms of a union agreement or employment contract, tha would be illegal. Otherwise, as an "at will" employee, your employer can set the conditions of work much as it sees fit or deems appropriate. That having been said, while an employer has the right to take some form of action against an employee regarding prohibited uses of social media, many states have laws which prohibit employers from disciplining employees from certain conduct outside of the workplace and many are written broadly enough to cover online activity. Additionally, a social networking policy that is too restrictive may be a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (although such is not appear to be the case here; that has to do with discussions of workplace conditions). At this point, you can consult directly with a local employment law attorney who can best advise you of your rights here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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