New Jersey Township Worker Loses Job Over Facebook Comments
Plenty of people use Facebook to say shocking, controversial, or divisive things, and while most times all it does is ruffle feathers and strike up feisty debates, it can occasionally be more serious.
For one New Jersey man, his posts cost him his job.
Sam Falcetano, Jr. of Maplewood, was a Department of Public Works (DPW) employee.
Falcetano went onto a Facebook page called 'Memories of Living in South Orange, NJ or Maplewood, NJ' and according to Patch, identified himself as a DPW employee, complaining about the mess left after a township concert, blaming the mess on “liberals who have voted for Obama and ruined the Maplewood I grew up in.'
They also report he posted about teachers who 'force feed their pupils a liberal agenda,' and about abortion and gay marriage, which he said 'breaks down the moral fabric of society,' adding, '…don't try and force your perverted man on man into our traditional marriage.'
There were apparently worse things said, but the entire thread, and Falcetano's Facebook page, have since been deleted.
The Township called his comments 'appalling' in a prepared statement.
According to AOL News, Falcetano plans to challenge the firing on the basis of free speech.
Well here we go.
I'll say this one time: Freedom of Speech and Expression does NOT allow you say whatever you want, but should you proceed to verbalize your thoughts under the guise of 'free speech', no matter how stupid or hateful, it doesn't mean the rest of us have to be okay with it.
It also doesn't mean your employer has to keep you on board, especially if you are openly representing yourself as their employee.
Seeing as how I'm a 'public figure' of sorts, I learned a long time ago that there are just some things I cannot say and do on my social media accounts. (As I get older, I'm much more grateful that my job kept me from posting things that I would now consider embarrassing, but that's another story.)
Some people just don't seem to realize or care that the stuff you post online, even if it's to your personal Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/whatever accounts can damage your professional reputation, and the reputation of your employer.
Sure, you can speak freely, but like it or not, there are consequences for your actions. Can you be arrested for saying homophobic or racist things? No. Can your employer fire you for saying something stupid? Usually.
So, Mr. Falcetano, here's some free speech for you: You're a moron. Good luck in your future endeavors.