Firstly, we'll answer straight up, yes, you can be fired from work for what you post on social media!
We’ve all posted something on social media that we’ve later regretted. Maybe it was a questionable joke? Or perhaps a photo or video that we had initially thought was funny? Most of the time, our senses kick in and we wind up deleting the post before anyone even notices. But sometimes, however, things are not that simple.
Regardless of how many friends or followers we have, one wrong post on social media could lead us to a whole lot of trouble; like being the subject of nationwide embarrassment, having an unnecessary injury at work or even the loss of a job.
For some examples of what not to do, here are seven workers who made headlines after being fired over a social media post.
Twenty-four written words on Facebook was all it took for Texas woman Kaitlyn Walls to get fired before the first day of her new daycare job.
“I start my new job today,” the then 27-year-old mum posted on Facebook in April 2015. “But I absolutely hate working at daycare.” She also wrote, “I just really hate being around a lot of kids.”
To no surprise, this didn’t go down too well when her post was named and shamed by a yard sale Facebook group with more than 8,000 members, according to Jezebel. Subsequently this led to Walls’s prompt dismissal.
When a video of seven Austrian construction workers setting off explosives under a wheelbarrow whilst on the job was shared online in September 2016, things didn’t go down too swimmingly. The video has since trended on several Reddit threads, one alone with 23,000 'upvotes', where a comment by a local Austrian states that all workers lost their jobs in the end and winded up facing further legal actions agains them.
As it turned out, their boss had a short fuse (pun intended) for their unsafe antics.
This photo of an unnamed employee licking Taco Bell shells caused quite a stir on social media back in June 2013.
The picture was posted on the on the fast food chain's Facebook feed by a co-worker of the employee seen above, meant for an internal photo contest where employees were encouraged to take the first bite out of the company’s new product.
However, Taco Bell reps did not find this photo to amusing, expressing that it "violated the rules and spirit of the contest", and was denied from being submitted. Adding to the stupidity, the employee then later posted it on a personal social media page, further violating the franchisee’s policies.
The incident lead to the employee being let go, along with the restaurant claiming the shells were "only used for training and were about to be thrown out," CBS Los Angeles reported at the time.
As recent as July this year, a Victorian truck driver recorded himself having "breakfast" of what appear to be illegal drugs in the cabin of a big rig — all whilst wearing his transport company’s polo shirt. The footage found its way onto a Facebook page popular with truck drivers, which the driver then begged to be taken down.
Regardless, the damage was already done and the video went on to make nationwide headlines, shared and shamed by the likes of The Today Show.
Unsurprisingly, the two parties went their separate ways.
A single Instagram photo posted by Katie Duke caused her to lose her job back in July 2014, as an emergency room nurse at New York Presbyterian Hospital. The photo Duke posted showed a messy but empty trauma room that had been used to treat a man, hit by a New York City subway train, which Duke captioned with the distasteful hashtag "#Manvs6train".
Not long after, Duke received a call from the hospital, telling her she was fired from the position she had otherwise previously held for 7 years. The hospital told her she wasn't getting fired for violating any privacy regulations. "I was told I was being fired for being insensitive," she told abc NEWS.
In May earlier this year, a video made its way to the streaming website LiveStream by username 'Someaussiedude', showing a man recording himself whacking his colleague on the head, right before his colleague then fired back at him with a nail gun, lodging a nail into his left arm.
Scott Cam, well known for The Block, weighed in at the time after watching the clip during a A Current Affair segment regarding dangerous workplace pranks on sites.
"It could've gone pear shaped, it could've been in the eye," he said. "It's a three inch nail gun and they've got plenty of power."
No reports have been found whether or not the workers involved in the video were in fact dismissed, however, it's not hard to tell that if this kind of reckless behaviour continued, it could lead to the final nail in the coffin for their jobs.
August 6, 2021
How far can insurance investigators go? What is legal? Can they follow you? And what should you do if you notice you’re being watched?
August 2, 2021
Do you have to pay tax on your weekly or lump-sum settlement from WorkCover? Can you use the money to invest? Let's explore.