Career Calling

November 13, 2012

Free Speech or a Reason to Be Fired

Cold Stone Creamery fired an employee for making offensive remarks about President Obama.  On first glance, this sounds like a violation of a citizen’s right to free speech.  However, the employee’s comments cross the line.  In a Facebook post, she refers to the President as a racial slur and expresses a hope that he is assassinated.  Those comments are extreme.  While the speaker may have a right to say them, an employer has an equal right to protect its reputation and brand.

I don’t believe employers should tell employees what to think or say.  But, in a case like this one, the public manner of the employee’s statement (posting it on Facebook) impacts the employer.  The moral of the story is to think twice before you post something offensive that might reflect poorly on your employer.  It could cost you a job.

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