Fired From Facebook? High-Profile Case Raises Social Media Questions

Can a public sector employee get fired or disciplined for social media actions?

It depends…

In the age of emerging social media, everyone is empowered to be heard widely and unfiltered. What does this mean for a public sector employee? What does it mean for the public sector managers and officials responsible for the overall mission?

Here’s a high profile case from South Carolina that puts a sharp point on these issues — right from this week’s headlines:

A 16-year Columbia Fire Department captain was fired Monday from his $53,722-a-year job for making threatening remarks against people in a Black Lives Matter protest that on Sunday night closed down a major interstate corridor into Columbia, city officials said Monday.Capt. Jimmy Morris, a firefighter at the North Main Street Fire Station, was fired Monday after city officials learned he had made two Facebook posts in which he threatened to do harm to protesters if they got in his way.

Read more here

Join us at the MACo Summer Conference for a general session delving into these exact issues. Attorney Kevin Karpinski of Karpinski, Colaresi, and Karp P.A. — the law firm who provides the outstanding LGIT “Employment Hotline” — will discuss these thorny and interesting topics affecting more and more counties.

General Session #WhereDoYouDrawTheLine? Social Media and the Workplace
Discover potential ethical and legal traps posed by your organizational and personal use of social network sites and learn how to avoid these traps. Learn best practices for county social media presence, and how organizations may and may not monitor and limit use of social networking by employees.

  • Speaker: Kevin Karpinski, Partner – Karpinski, Colaresi & Karp, PA
  • Date/Time: Friday, August 19, 2016; 10:45 am – 12:00 pm

See more in the Summer Conference Registration Brochure!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:


Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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