Can You Get Fired For Talking Politics On Social Media?

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Some people enjoy professional spoils from viral fame, even when they are being subversive. Others get burned.
Jasmine Pak, a recent college graduate, landed a video fellowship at BuzzFeed after her LinkedIn post about repeated career rejection went viral. Admitting that you have applied for several jobs and been denied an opportunity at each turn is a gutsy move, but Pak's honesty and willingness to change her approach led to eventual success.
But Juli Briskman, a former employee at Akima LLC, was fired just a few days after a photo of her flipping off President Trump's motorcade hit the digital stratosphere.
In an interview with The New York Times, Briskman said "she decided it would be a good idea to mention it to a human resources official" — without being prompted. But the very next day, she was called into a meeting and asked to submit a "forced resignation," on the grounds that her gesture violated "the company's social media policy ban on 'obscene content.'"
Retracting a viral photo isn't an option (especially not after it reaches The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon). But some argue the 50-year-old cyclist and "she-ro" should just have been given a warning.
Briskman told HuffPost that one of her former (male) colleagues was "was reprimanded for calling someone 'a fucking Libtard asshole' on Facebook, but was allowed to delete the post and keep his job." In that case, the epithet came from a social media account that called out Akima by name, whereas Briskman's Twitter account did not name her employer.
Do you worry if your social media use could impact your employment? Here are some things to consider.