CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- What you do in the streets or online, even during you own time, could mean a lost job.
Yes, you can get fired if you take part in a protest or post something offensive on social media, because we are under employment at will jurisdiction.
"Employers can fire folks for good or no reason," said Law Professor Cesar Rosado Marzan.
Law Professor Rosado Marzan with the Chicago-Kent College of Law said there are some protections that private-sector employees do have and one pertaining to protests and online posting falls under the National Labor Relations Act.
If you are a private sector employee and you want to go out and protest or post something controversial online and not get fired for doing it, Rosado Marzan said the best thing to do is to try to protest in a way where whatever you’re protesting is linked to the job, for example wages or discrimination.
He said it has to be related to you job in order to be protected. But if you go out and protest much more generically and you don’t tie it to the job your employer can fire you.
Private sector employees do not have federal free speech protections when it comes to their jobs.
"In the public sector, it's different, because there what happens is government cannot intrude into First Amendment free speech rights. And there, we protect workers more," Rosado Marzan said.He said his main advice is, if you’re in the private sector “beware” much more than if you were in the public sector.