Can employers legally limit the ages of job prospects by recruiting only on college campuses? Can they cap the years of experience applicants are allowed to have? Can they set up social media recruitment campaigns that exclude older people? Or would taking active steps to minimize a job's visibility to workers over 40 violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)?
When we think about speech protections, we often think of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The First Amendment only prohibits governmental actors from abridging freedom of speech, so it doesn't apply to private actors such as non-government employers. (The First Amendment does apply to government employers.)
Terminating an employee is never easy, even when it is an employer's only reasonable option. Making matters more complicated is the fact that a fired employee has many avenues on social media to make negative comments about his or her former employer. Employers are justifiably concerned about damage to its brand. The question becomes, how far can or should an employer go to protect its reputation online?
Facebook has been a somewhat frequent topic on our Greenbelt employment law blog. This is because employment questions have arisen in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., area about whether employees should be allowed to use social media at work, and whether employers should be allowed to use Facebook to screen current and potential employees.
Last month in our Greenbelt Employment Law Blog, we discussed the termination of a retail CFO who was fired for allegedly posting company information on a social media website. More details of that case have now been revealed. It appears that accessories retailer Francesca's may have fired the CFO after he suggested to investors--via his Twitter account--a forthcoming positive earnings report.
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.
Months ago in our Greenbelt Employment Law Blog, we discussed how Facebook use may impact your employment in Maryland. Currently, privacy and employment laws are quite vague when it comes to social media use and we suggested that it may be best to be a bit guarded about what you post on Facebook. However, now Maryland lawmakers are working on bills that would limit the ability of employers to glean information about their employees from Facebook.