Social media use has become a frequent theme in our Greenbelt Employment Law Blog. On Monday, the chief financial officer of a growing accessories and apparel retailer was fired after he allegedly posted company information on a social media site.
Many people in Maryland are likely familiar with Francesca's, as there are several boutiques in the area. Francesca's has not told the public exactly what information the CFO allegedly published, or through what website it was shared.
The former CFO--who has also had chief financial officer positions at David's Bridal and CVS among other companies--has a Facebook, LinkedIn and a personal blog account.
The National Labor Relations Board has said that many employers are using social media policies that are dangerously and unlawfully broad. It is not clear yet whether this CFO will allege that he was wrongfully terminated or attempt any other employment law action against Francesca's.
This man, of course, is not the first to be fired for social media use. And we've previously written about the attempts of Maryland's lawmakers to reign in employers who may be overzealous in their social media policies.
This area of employment law remains somewhat vague. Those who believe their employers may be violating their rights by probing their social media accounts, or those who have been terminated for a social media-related reason, are often wise to discuss the issue with a reputable employment law attorney. Although social media is a new venue for communication, this does not mean that it is not subject to already existing employment law and privacy statutes at the federal and state levels.
Source: LA Times, "When social media gets you fired: Francesca's CFO is out," Tiffany Hsu, May 14, 2012