Should a Red Bank employee be fired over a racist Facebook post?
I’ve always said you should never post anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t say to your employer’s face. That’s because social media is no longer this fun little escape where you can express your feelings to your friends. Social media is now watched by employers routinely and it’s the perfect character assessment tool. So if you see a racist post on your employees Facebook or Instagram page, you know that’s probably exactly what they’re thinking. However, in the case of one Red Bank employee where hateful comments were made, no one‘s exactly sure if these were his comments or if his accounts were hacked.
According to an article on app.com, Red Bank Council President Hazim Yassin said he was alerted to a Reddit post that re-posted ugly racist comments that were purportedly from an employee‘s Facebook page. Yassin asked the borough administrator to investigate. The employee stated that his account must’ve been hacked and that he had tried to have it shut down by Facebook.
Now, of course, claiming that your account was hacked is very similar to claiming to your parents that you have no idea how the marijuana got into your bedroom. Who is really going to believe that? And it’s a difficult thing to prove or disprove. So the bottom line is: Are companies willing to have people who are known to be racist in their employ?
The thing is, there are plenty of racists working at companies all over New Jersey that just don’t say it out loud. They could be the best employees you have. Do you want to fire them just because they’re racist if their thoughts have nothing to do with their job performance? That’s an ethical quandary. I, personally, would rather know what my employees are thinking rather than have them keep it quiet.
It will take a while before this investigation is through and in a position like this, very few people who are actual racists would be able to maintain their jobs. At the end of the day, this should serve as a warning to all New Jersey employees whether they’re in the private or the public sector. It’s not illegal to be racist (so far) but in this day and age you’ll most likely be fired for it. So keep your racist thoughts to yourself and off of social media.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.