The former IT director for Jersey City, New Jersey, claims he was fired from his job after a mayoral aide saw controversial right-wing posts on his Facebook page denouncing Hillary Clinton and criticizing the acceptance of Syrian immigrants.
According to Alan Guglielmi, he received a call from the mayoral aide about two weeks after he started his job. The aide told him that he should delete the “questionable items” from his Facebook page. Guglielmi did, and soon deleted his Facebook account altogether. However, the damage had evidently been done; two days after that conversation, Guglielmi says that two attorneys came to his office and fired him.
Guglielmi feels that his First Amendment rights were infringed upon, and that he was entitled to share his opinions no matter how controversial. While that may be true in general, experts warn that that’s not always the case when it comes to employment.
“People think they can post whatever they want on Facebook. That’s not really accurate,” said lawyer Mike Murphy. “You can’t go out and say things that negatively impact the employer… Email, texts, Facebook — all permanent. Whatever you put there, make sure you’re going to feel comfortable reading that out loud a week from now.”
Oh, and another reminder: tighten up your security settings. Guglielmi said that he thought his posts were private, but a reporter from NJ.com was able to see them on his profile the week he was fired.