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Man Demoted Due To Facebook Post

Michael Smith; Getty Images

Let the opinions fly on this one. A guy in Britain got demoted at his job due to a Facebook post concerning gay marriage. Adrian Smith said that churches should not allow gay weddings and that they’re “an equality too far”.

His employer, Trafford Housing Trust, deemed that he was wrong to express such feelings and he received a 40% pay cut.

Now before you flying off the hinge about free speech. Trafford has a company code that warns against expressing opinions on politics or religion that could offend or upset co-workers and the working environment.

The case went to court and on November 16th the judge ruled in favor of Smith saying he “did nothing wrong” and they unfairly punished him. Trafford Housing Trust accepted the judgement; no word on the settlement.

Even if some might see Adrian’s words as misguided, Gay Rights advocate Peter Tatchell says that “Smith has the right to express his point view.”

How far is too far for an employer to have control over your “social networking life”. We all have our opinions and rights to express them but with the way the world wide web works – you need to be careful because it can bite you in the @$$. There are things I would love to say in post but I know what my company policy is and this is their site. When it comes to Facebook or Twitter, I keep an eye over what I post and second guess it too. You never know who might be offended. Not saying it’s right, but it’s the world we live in.

Lesson here: Use the old ‘rule of thumb’ of watch what you post and NEVER friend/like/follow your co-workers.


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