Milwaukee woman says she was fired for social media posts supporting President Trump
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee woman says she was fired for social media posts supporting President Trump.
Robyn Polak says her Facebook comments led to someone leaving a bad review on the page of her former employer, Precision Dental MKE.
Polak says the office manager called her shortly after to let her know she was being let go.
Many of her comments Polak shared with CBS 58 included the slogan “Make America Great Again.”
Others are more colorful, like a meme implying that Barack Obama is the leader of ISIS.
“Do I feel like Obama was the leader of ISIS? Absolutely not,” Polak said. “It’s my freedom of speech. At the end of the day it’s my right to defend how I believe.”
Precision said in a statement:
“Precision Dental MKE respects the privacy of its employees and, as a matter of policy, does not comment on the terms of employment, retention or discharge of any individual employee. We can confirm, however, that no employee has ever been terminated for their political beliefs or their support or opposition of the President or any political candidate.”
Their social media policy states “Many people participate in social networking sites, whether for personal or business purposes. Anything you write or post is your responsibility. Please use common sense as your guide and be thoughtful about what you post. Any posting of any kind that does damage to the practice either directly or indirectly will not be tolerated.”
Nola Hitchcock Cross, an employment lawyer, says the issue is whether Polak’s speech is protected.
“The employer can fire someone for any reason at all, except for an illegal reason,” Cross said.
Firing an employee for age, disability or another protected status is illegal.
Firing an employee for protected speech is also illegal.
Cross says political beliefs are not protected.
She says protected speech includes the subjects of hours, wages and working conditions. For example, an employee sharing they believe the minimum wage should be higher cannot be legally fired.
Cross advises employees to be extremely careful with social media.
Polak says she doesn’t think she did anything wrong, and is seeking an attorney.