Mary Noe

Who needs “Friends”?

Mary Noe, College of Professional Studies, Division of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies

Abstract

My research focuses on recent firings of employees because of their Facebook postings and the State and Federal Court decisions in applying pre-technology laws.

In June 2010, a New York City student tragically drowned on a field trip.  The next day a New York City school teacher posted on Facebook “After today, I am thinking the beach sounds like a wonderful idea for my 5th graders!  I HATE THEIR GUTS!  They are the devils 9sic) spawn!”  After an administrative hearing the employee was fired.  She appealed and was reinstated.  The case is on appeal to New York State’s intermediate court.

On April 24, 2012, the DC District Court recently held that a police deputy “liking” a Facebook page was not constitutionally protected speech.  The case is on appeal.

State and Federal Courts are grabbling with the Facebook postings examining freedom of speech and right to privacy protection.