Navigating Social Media

Living in a free and democratic society enables us to publicly express our views on just about anything — from the political to the personal and everything in between.

However, in an employment context, it’s important to remember that your freedom of expression isn’t unlimited. While you have the right to express your views, there are boundaries.

Human rights laws require employers to prevent harassment and discrimination in the workplace, which includes ensuring that employees don’t create a hostile environment for others. Employers must act if workers make hateful, derogatory or racist remarks in public or online, or they could be legally liable.

An Air Canada pilot learned this lesson the hard way when he was terminated after sharing anti-Israel social media posts of himself during a protest.

Employers have the right to expect their employees to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on the organization. If your online behaviour is deemed hateful, racist or supportive of terrorism, you could face serious consequences, including disciplinary action or even termination for cause.