Matt Kirnan / Social Media ,

Social Media Posts on the Israel-Hamas War

Social media has been ablaze since the October 7 terror attacks by Hamas on Israel creating friction between employers and employees.

We have been asked several questions recently and wanted to offer some general thoughts and advice.  Typically, we are asked whether an employer can lawfully terminate an employee based on social media posts.  While the answer is generally yes, there are exceptions to the “employment at will” rule, and while private employers may have wide latitude in disciplining and terminating employees for social media activity, there are exceptions to the “employment at will” rule particularly in New York and California.  These exceptions include the statutory protections of political speech (see NY and CA), some state laws protecting the off duty conduct of employees and collective bargaining agreements protection of members.

As always, we advise avoiding acting impulsively and investigate any claim of an offensive or violent post.  It is also the time to review your social media policy.  We are happy to help in that regard.