Millions of people use Facebook to connect with family and friends. It’s also a popular outlet for venting about frustrations on the job. Before you post something bad about your boss, though, consider whether or not you could be fired for what you post.
Know the National Labor Relations Act
According to the National Labor Relations Act, you have the right as an employee to discuss details about your conditions of employment or wages with someone else if you are trying to improve conditions on the job. Your solo rants or gripes about your job, boss, or co-workers are not protected by law, though.
As an example, say your boss is a bully and negatively affects several people in your office. In this case, you may be able to complain online and be protected since your post is considered a collective complaint. You cannot legally post a complaint if you are the only person he or she bullies, however.
Understand that Your Employment is At Will
In many cases, you are employed at will. That means your employer can fire you for a variety of reasons as long as those reasons are not discriminatory. Because being employed is a privilege, carefully consider all your social media posts. You’re usually better off approaching your boss in person with important issues that should be addressed rather than venting over social media.
Read the Social Media Policy
Many large employers have social media policies in place that offer details about what employees can and cannot post. It may outline the consequences you face, including termination, if you use social media to complain about something at work. Check with your Human Resources department for more information about the social media policy at your job.
Consider Your Reputation
While your complaint against your boss may be legitimate, realize that it could also affect your reputation. Do you really want to be known as the person at work who always posts negative comments online? Your actions today could affect your position and your ability to get a good professional recommendation in the future.
That’s why you should do your best to keep your negative comments to yourself or share them offline with only a few close friends. You don’t want to jeopardize your reputation because you’re upset about something your boss says or does.
It’s always a good idea to use discretion when you discuss your boss or job on social media. Depending on what you post, you could be fired or face other consequences. Check out the details of your employer’s policies before you post negative opinions and comments online.