Freedom of speech is possible one of the most misunderstood civil rights. You have probably heard in the Illinois news stories about people being fired due to things they post on social media. The argument is often that it is freedom of speech to post whatever you want on your own social media pages. However, while you have the freedom to post whatever you want, you do not have the freedom from repercussions of what you post.

There have been a few highly publicized incidents where someone said something deemed offensive on social media and lost their jobs because of it. The reason why employers are quick to fire someone for what is seen as inappropriate or offensive social media posts is that the company has a right to protect its image, according to SHRM. What you say may reflect on your employer, especially in the current social climate.

Many employers even have clauses or policies about social media use. Even if you make statements outside of work and on your own personal page, an employer may still argue it could harm its business. This is a justifiable reason to fire you. Furthermore comments seen as racist or against a certain religion are also fireable offenses since those are protected classes.

Since most employment is at will and even contract employment usually includes morals clauses, employers have every legal right to fire you if you say something in a public forum that goes against company policies or the company’s beliefs. This information is for education and is not legal advice.