My manager wrote me up because she didn’t approve of someone on my personal Facebook page. Thoughts?


Rita Risser Chai responds:

My thoughts are that your manager is a nosy busy-body. Also, your manager should not be your “friend” on Facebook and your privacy settings should not allow her to see who your friends are. Legally, it’s more complicated. If she didn’t approve of someone because of their race, religion, gender identity, or other protected characteristic, you might have a claim of discrimination, because most laws prohibit discrimination based on who you associate with. If she didn’t approve of the person for some other reason, then your legal rights depend on your state. In California, Colorado and New York, for example, you cannot be reprimanded for doing anything outside of work that is legal. Being friends with someone on Facebook is legal. But in most states, you could even be fired for something like this! So, I guess you’re lucky all you got was a write-up. Good luck.

Posted 09-06-2017

Information here is correct at the time it is posted. Case decisions cited here may be reversed. Please do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney first.


About the Author:

Rita M. Risser Chai is the founder of Fair Measures. An attorney in California for 20 years and now an attorney in Hawaii, she authored the Prentice Hall book, Stay Out of Court! The Manager’s Guide to Preventing Employee Lawsuits. She developed most of the curriculum used by Fair Measures, created the firm’s first website praised in HR Magazine, and wrote numerous articles on employment law including one on best practice harassment prevention training published in the magazine of the American Society for Training and Development (now ATD). She taught Law and Human Resources at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for eight years, and has presented four times at the annual conventions of the Hawaii Society of Human Resource Management.