One of your coworkers is a connection of yours on social media. You never talk, and you gradually forget that the two of you are even connected on the site.
Then you make a controversial post that gets a lot of traction, garnering likes and comments. One of the comments comes from your coworker, who then shows the post to your employer. They decide to fire you.
Can they do this? Or is it a wrongful termination? What rights do you have?
This is a valid reason for a firing
Overall, the answer is simply that this type of firing is generally legal under common at-will employment laws. Your employer can take action against you, even if you were not at work when you made the post. It still reflects on the company, and they may decide that they don’t want that type of publicity.
Your company may also have a code of conduct that you have to follow. This is especially an issue if you were at work when you made the post, but it could apply in a general sense.
Remember, under at-will employment, a reason to fire you isn’t even needed. The company can decide you’re not a good fit and let you go. Something like this could be evidence to them that you are not a good fit.
Now, if you have a contract, that may protect you. The same is true if the company has a policy saying that what you do on your own time can’t impact employment status. But, barring something like that, you can be fired for what you post, so be very careful when you do so. If you believe that your rights have been violated, you may also want to look into your legal options.