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What you post on social media can get you fired, attorney says

Employment attorney says employer can terminate employee for any reason


ORLANDO, Fla. – How responsible are you for what you post on social media?

If you post something on your personal page without identifying your employer, can you be fired if your employer doesn't like it?

[WEB EXTRA: How what you post on Social Media matters ]

"Just in general, the employer, certainly in Florida, has the right to terminate for any reason," Travis Hollifield said.

Hollifield is a Winter Park employment attorney. He said even if your profile does not say where you work, if your employer doesn't like something you post on your personal social media site, you can be terminated for it.

"Generally in Florida, which is an at-will employment state, an employer can terminate an employee for any reason -- a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all," he said.

Anne Meehan is the director of Career Development at Rollins College. She prepares students for the transition from college to employment, and advises them to be aware of their social media presence.

"The thought is to think before they send that tweet as to how that might be received by an employer or a potential employer," she said.

A recent survey by Jobvite, which is a hiring and recruitment tech firm, found that 55 percent of recruiters have reconsidered candidates based on their social media profiles, with 61 percent of those reconsiderations being negative.

Meehan advised job seekers to stay away from political posts, which can sometimes get dicey.

"Derogatory, negative things about a past employer or boss are also things that can come back to haunt them," she said.

So not only can the wrong post cost you your job, it can prevent you from getting one.

What about free speech?

"Mostly in the private sector, you're able to say whatever you want to say, but that doesn't mean your employer has to maintain your employment if they don't like what you have to say," Hollifield said.

There are some First Amendment protections if you're a public employee of a public employer. In the private sector -- if you're posting about your employer and you're fired for that -- you could have some recourse under the National Labor Relations Act.