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Old Tweets, New Tweets, Any Tweet Can Get You Twitter Fired

Tonight is the NFL draft.  A day where the future will be laid out for many people and many NFL football teams (not the Browns, never the Browns).  It is also the day that someone on the internet will spend hours of their lives trying to find dirt on the players who may be drafted.   Today’s prize goes to Josh Allen, a quarterback that some have going as the first pick in the draft.  Mr. Allen also, apparently (and allegedly), liked to post tweets that included racist and homophobic language.

While Mr. Allen will still likely be drafted in the first round and go on to make millions of dollars, the same may not be said about the regular employee who posts similarly offensive comments on the internet.  Contrary to the beliefs of many people, an employer may discipline or terminate someone for what they post on the internet.  The old “it was outside of work” argument will not save that person’s job.

As such, everyone should learn from Mr. Allen today, and be careful what you post on social media sites.  Stick to pictures of your food, kids, and vacations, and leave out comments on race.  I guarantee if you or your employees post something offensive (even 5 years ago) someone will find it, and the results will not end up with you playing quarterback for the Browns (which may be a good thing).

If you have questions about your social media policy, sign up for our upcoming seminar on Handbooks, or feel free to contact a member of our Labor and Employment Department.