Misty Roberson: Fired For A Facebook Post About Her Sick Child?

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Employees have reported being fired for all kinds of Facebook posts: objectionable photos of themselves, criticizing the mayor, joking about regulations, complaining about management and even defending their hairstyle. But Misty Roberson says that she was fired as a clerk at a Rome, Ga., pediatric clinic for a post about her sick child, 14. "I am in a state of shock," she told CBS Atlanta. "And I was at the time, and I still am."

According to Roberson, in early October her daughter had a fever. Roberson was not able to get an appointment at Harbin Clinic Pediatrics where she worked for nine years as a clerk. So she brought her daughter to a different walk-in clinic. Then, like so many other moms on Facebook, she updated her friends about her daughter's condition in a Facebook post: "After being at the immediate care for two hours, I finally have answers to what was wrong with Alli's fever because work had no appointments. Can you believe it?"

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What followed was a stream of comments from friends expressing "their dismay and discontent" in how they'd been treated by Harbin. About 30 people posted comments on Facebook saying the clinic "never had appointments and they never could get us in," Roberson said.

Roberson told Atlanta TV station WXIA that about three weeks later a Harbin Clinic manager called her into an office and fired her, telling her that she'd failed to follow her employer's social media policy. A copy of the policy was provided to the station, and it reportedly prohibits employees from making "defamatory" or "disrespectful" comments about Harbin.

An employment attorney advising Roberson says that she believes that Roberson's right to free speech was violated. If employees are "talking about something that's true and working conditions, it's not defamatory, it's not illegal, and it's protected speech," she told WXIA's 11AliveNews.

When asked to comment, Harbin told WXIA that it doesn't comment on personnel issues.

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