Social Media Can Be Threat to Job

Bellaire officials had no responsible choice but to fire a village employee for posting racial slurs on social media.

They did so last week, after a closed-door session of Bellaire Village Council. Municipal Solicitor Michael Shaheen termed the man’s posts as “disturbing.”

Even had the man not identified himself in his post as a village employee, his position would have been untenable.

In this day and age, it is difficult to understand why some public employees do not seem to recognize that often, even in their private lives, they represent the government entities for which they work. In this case, had the man not been fired, his post might have been taken by some readers as a reflection of village officials’ thoughts. It was not.

Many local government entities make it clear to employees that their social media activities may have a bearing on their jobs. Obviously, that has not sunk in for everyone.

Now might be a good time for municipal, township, county and school officials throughout the valley to reinforce the point.


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