Not everyone agrees about the line between private lives ands professional lives. Some people think that what a person does and says while at work and/or while wearing the company logo or uniform should be all that matters to the company they work for; however, others feel that if someone does or says something unprofessional outside of working hours, it’s not out of line for a company to reprimand or even fire the employee.

We all know that what we post on social media is public. Even if we have our settings set so that only friends and family can see what we post, that doesn’t stop anyone from taking a screenshot and posting what we said or did for the world to see. The lesson is to never post anything you wouldn’t want someone to see…even your employer.

Yet, is it fair for an employer to fire or reprimand an employee for something that happened outside of working hours? Multiple Reddit users weighed in on this question. Here are their thoughts.

  1. I Only Exist at Work

    Reddit user FrobyJ wrote:

    Ideally i don’t want my employer to even know i exist outside my contracted hours

  2. Not Paid 24/7

    shyguylh added:

    My time is my time. I’m not an unpaid 24-7 PR representative of my place of work.

  3. Fired for Playing Hooky

    billybadass123 answered:

    I’ve seen some posts about someone taking a sick day, who got fired when they were caught posting on Facebook that they weren’t actually sick. Not sure if it was fake. But I was just thinking, what if they were just showing off for their friends, and lying about faking a sick day? That one always bothered me.

  4. It’s All About a Good Reputation

    JakeDC explained:

    If I run a restaurant and I find out that my bartender holds public Nazi rallies, I am firing that bartender. The fact that I abhor Nazis is reason enough. I also don’t want to become “that restaurant with the Nazi bartender.”Businesses depend on customers, so their reputation matters. And in some cases, an employee’s behavior outside of work can have a negative impact on the reputation of a business.

  5. Social Media Sometimes Impacts Business

    dressedlikedadaydream shared:

    I once had an employee that was harassing women online, with the his facebook that specifically said where he worked. We started getting comments and messages from these women, and I started getting customers asking about the comments and refusing to work with that employee. So now I have a problem, because my employee can’t do his job properly thanks to his activity outside business hours. Easiest decision to fire someone I’ve ever made.

  6. When You Clock Out, You Clock Out

    XxIvyIzoraxX wrote:

    I think if you’re off the clock, you no longer belong to that company. Your life if your own. If they want to have a fit about it they aren’t worth working for.

  7. When You’re Famous, Sometimes It Makes Sense

    nsd2500 answered:

    I’m in Australia and we recently had something related to this issue happen over here. An rugby player said some pretty terrible things about homosexuals on his social media account. I don’t remember the specifics, but there were some bible passages quoted. The NRL (National Rugby Leage) that employs him fired him because of this because he is a representative of that organisation and he has a pretty big public profile, therefore saying stuff like this goes against the clubs values of inclusiveness.My point behind all this is that if you have a substantial public profile, and what you say carries then I think your employer can have some say on the matter. Despite the fact that I don’t agree with the rugby players opinions I am fortunate enough to live in a free country so he is allowed to think what he wants. I just don’t see how spouting that stuff does anyone any favors.

  8. It Depends

    DickySchmidt33 added:

    I don’t think employers should be monitoring their employees social media platforms or off hours activities. But if the employee is engaging in conduct that could bring embarrassment and potentially cost the company business while off the clock, and this behavior is brought to the attention of management, I think the employer would be foolish not to take action.

  9. There Need to Be Exceptions

    StaceyHarrison explained:

    The only exception is if they do something illegal or post something discrimatory and they work w ppl. Ex: customer service, doctor, police, teacher, etc

  10. Some Activities Cross the Line

    Milestailsprowe shared:

    Most activities are NOT the companies problem but if your caught doing something morally reprehensible or illegal then it becomes their problem. It shows what kind of employees they are willing to hire and let work there.

  11. Most People Shouldn’t Care

    Justcause95 wrote:

    Is this just in reference to people being ridiculous in public on video and losing their job because of it? Because if I owned a company and saw someone that worked for me (or was told about it and shown)I wouldn’t want to be employing a person verbally assaulting someone because they were asked to wear a mask. Or said blatantly racist things online. Pretty much my company and I hire who I want. Normal everyday people don’t get shit canned for what they say or do, because they arent doing/saying anything off the rails

  12. It Depends on the Conditions of Employment

    CptShaggy88 explained:

    If it’s part of the conditions of employment to behave in a manner reflecting the companies beliefs and you break the conditions, they are well within their rights to terminate employment. That’s how it works. Full stop.

  13. Most People Aren’t High Profile

    I have a feeling this is more aimed at a few high profile cases. Those have one big difference between them and most of us. The vast majority of people aren’t going to be so publicly visible and visible as a representation of their employer as entertainers and celebrities. I can see the logic behind such things when it can stir up a shitstorm online and lead to boycotts and tarnished reputations. For those people their image is essentially part of their job. That’s a very rare situation overall though. For the rest of us who aren’t visible we’ll known ambassadors of our employers I agree 100%. Nobody is going to associate any stupid stuff I was to do off the job with my employer at anywhere I’ve worked. But plenty of things could still get me fired for things done well away from work even in private (drug tests being a big one).