Joe Lobato was fired after posting a status update complaining about work. Joe told KUSA 9News that he was feeling severely sick on the job. Lobato said it was so bad that, "It felt like someone was kicking me in my stomach." He went on to say that his supervisor’s response to his illness was less than sympathetic, reporting, "He told me I wasn't allowed to leave my machinery again."
At his computer, Joe logged in to Facebook and vented, posting a 9-sentence status update that included the statement, “Guess they think a person is a machine and can’t get sick.” Joe’s co-worker/friend reported the post to their boss, which led to Lobato’s termination for “gross misconduct” and posting negative comments about the company on a public forum.
The National Labor Relations Board says that while employees have the right to discuss work conditions on Facebook, employers can take action against worker rants online. Further, social media experts warn that nothing is fully private in the online space. Now Lobato knows this all too well and says the online rant was not worth it as he is about to lose his house.
Joe would like to hire a lawyer to fight for his job back, but cannot afford one. At a recent hearing with his former employer, he was told that his firing was justified.