Getting Fired – Legality and Social Media Policies

One question posted in the aftermath of blogging about getting fired for blogging (so meta!) was from Naomi McVey:

„can I ask if/how employment law & social media guidance/polices differ in Iceland?“

I understand the question as asking if there is a difference between what is allowed according to employment laws, and what is allowed according to social media policies. That is, is it legal according to employment laws to fire someone for social media conduct, or violating the social media policy?

I’m no expert on employment laws or social media policies. When thinking about this, I googled around for some examples of policies to look at and found the Mayo Clinic social media policies. Reading over those, I don’t think I would have violated them had identical policies been in place. The blog post contained no personally identifiable information, was factual, and did not confront or attack any person. I even had a disclaimer on my website declaring the content my personal opinion and not that of my employer.

But, there was no social media policy in place. I don’t know what kind of social media policy would allow my other posts, but not that one. I think what it comes down to, is not where or how, but what I said. The subject was taboo to blog about, obviously. Should clinics make a list of taboo subjects its employees are allowed to discuss openly or publicly? Such policies sound more medieval than modern.

Then it comes to employment laws. I know even less about employment laws then I do social media policies (thanks google). I do think that the reason I was fired was allowed for in the contract I signed. However, the resignation notice (two weeks) is illegal (3 months minimum for employment, 6 months for renting of business housing – unsure which one should apply in this case).

I’m not planning to file any charges (but I do reserve the right to). Getting the decision to fire me overthrown would have made no difference, since they would just find another reason.

Personally, I don’t care that much about the legality, practicality, or fairness of the decision to fire me. I do care about the implications – about how dinosaur physiotherapists remain unreasonable and actively do not allow for open discussions of evidence, because it’s financially unfavorable to them. I also do think it’s an important topic for the physiotherapy community to discuss, and this is why I shared it.