Can you be fired for something your spouse says on Facebook?

Some married couples have joint Facebook accounts  for example “JackandJill Jones”. However people should be aware what a spouse posts under a dual account can lead to a lawful termination of the other spouse. Here is a scenario from a person who called in yesterday.

A woman was fired from a professional job for comments made by her husband on their dual Facebook account. Without getting into details, the post by the husband had 1) nothing to do with the terms and conditions of his wife’s employment 2) was on a topic of no public concern and 3) was related to a post that was demeaning to women and encouraging behavior that can be best described as immature.

Someone with a grudge against the husband and wife, told the wife’s boss about the post and how it didn’t make her employer look good to have one of their professional employees making such comments. The person who tattled to the wife’s employer had a grudge not related to the wife’s employment. The wife’s employer agreed the Facebook posts made by the husband under the dual account were unprofessional and forced the wife to resign. The wife was an at-will employee.

Besides filing for unemployment, my advice to the woman as that there was nothing to she could do under Nebraska law. The posts created a legitimate business reason to terminate her employment.  The lesson here is that joint Facebook accounts can create serious problems.

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