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Facebook fight over MCC no-confidence vote: Can you be fired for public social media posts?

The scuffle began with a Facebook post from former Monroe Community College staffer Kimberley Willis supporting a column by talk radio host Bob Lonsberry, who was lashing out against those who issued a no-confidence vote against MCC President Anne Kress. That quickly escalated with MCC professor Matthew Hachee jumping in mentioning Willis’ current employment at a State University of New York school and possibly reconsidering enrolling his children at the college where she now works as a registrar.

“I appreciate your detailed and not at all casual and possibly insulting responses to your friends and NY SUNY colleagues, and your professionalism has lead [sic] me to reconsider my plan to not send my children to your SUNY institution,” Hachee wrote on Willis’ Facebook page.

“You apparently work at an institution that allows you freedom of expression on social media. Alas, not all SUNY schools currently do that and I have represented several workers at mine who were disciplined or even terminated as poorly representing their institution even on their own social media accounts,” Hachee added. .

Willis retorted with another Facebook post, calling Hachee out for what she perceived as a threat against her employment.

“Hey village I want you to see how this white privileged man, Matthew Hachee, husband of a privileged white woman at #MCC Regina Fabbro tried to bully me on Facebook! Please go to my page and read the thread whereby I never mentioned my job, SUNY or NYS. I think their white PRIVILEGE makes them think they can get me fired! Please share and call MCC to complain,” Willis wrote on her Facebook page.

This raises the question: Can you be fired for social media posts? Social media is a relatively new aspect of employment law, one that is being watched closely by employers and employees.

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