Management Social Media

Woman says she was fired after making pro-Trump comment on Facebook

From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Before Robyn Polak attended President Donald Trump’s Jan. 14 rally in Milwaukee, she expressed her support for him on Facebook by posting a “MAGA 2020” comment on a news story about the visit.

She said that comment, and possibly a few others like it, got her fired from her job.

Polak, a South Milwaukee resident who was the only dental assistant at Precision Dental MKE, 6203 S. Howell Ave., said someone found out where she worked, went on her employer’s Facebook page and posted a negative review. The person did not recommend the dental office saying “employees spouting [sic] racist comments on Facebook.”

Source: Woman says she was fired after making pro-Trump comment on Facebook

If the facts of this case – as presented in the linked article – are true, it opens up a slew of difficult questions.

The first observation is that dental office social media posts should avoid political comments. No matter how right you are or how strongly you feel, political commentary is guaranteed to upset people. BUT, if I am reading the article correctly the dental team member in question did not post anything on the office Facebook page she posted it on her personal page.

Allegedly she was fired because of her pro Trump postings. Is it right or even legal to fire someone based on viewpoint discrimination? Was she fired because her employer is anti Trump and did not want a pro Trumper in the office? Or was she fired because a random person made a complaint in an online review? Is it OK to fire someone who expresses support for Bernie Sanders?

Is it right that a single person with strong political views can cause another person to loose her livelihood based on a negative review? A negative review that had nothing to do with the quality of service but was based solely on the team members political views. Views that are more or less shared by about half the country.

Was it cowardly of her employer to cave to a single vocal online critic? Should the employer have stood by the team member and defended her? Is the employer guilty of viewpoint discrimination by firing an employee who expresses her personal opinions on her personal social media sites?

We live in interesting times.

Janice Hurley will be discussing practice image and best online practices at the AADP meeting March 5.