Facebook “likes” can possibly get you fired, and if you take your employer to court over the punishment you may have an uphill legal battle.
That’s what several plaintiffs found when they took the matter to the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia.
In the case Bland v. Roberts, the plaintiffs, who had worked in the Hampton, Virginia, sheriff’s office under B.J. Roberts, who was running for re-election against Jim Adams, asserted doing things to support their boss’ opponent eventually got them fired once Roberts had secured his seat. Such activities included placing a pro-Adams bumper sticker on one of their cars,
attending an Adams-sponsored cookout, and “liking” Adams’ Facebook page.
The court said Roberts was not aware of these activities, except for the Facebook endorsements. Even so, his knowledge of the “likes” was inconsequential, said the court.
“[Roberts'] knowledge of the posts only becomes relevant if the court finds the activity of liking a Facebook page to be constitutionally protected. It is the court’s conclusion that merely “liking” a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection,” the court said.