Can you get fired for a Facebook post? Be careful what you write about your employer!

Kirúghatnak egy Facebook posztért

A post made on social media, if it can harm the reputation of the employer, can be a valid reason for the legal termination of the employment relationship.

A post or comment made on social media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, etc.) – if the employee posting it has a direct link to the employer and the post could damage the employer’s reputation – can be a valid reason for lawful termination of employment, the Hungarian Supreme Court, the Kúria, said in a 2023 decision.

According to Jesszika dr. Udvari, lawyer for labour law at Budlegal, it is important to know that employees’ freedom of expression is limited when it is related to their employment. In this case, the employee’s expression of opinion must not harm his employer’s business interests and the employee is also bound by confidentiality obligations.

This is particularly true for expressions of opinion in the online space – social media – because online content can reach and be shared much more quickly and much more widely, and this in itself poses a high risk and can be used to compromise the employer’s economic interests and reputation. This is the case, for example, where a post is contrary to or contradictory to the employer’s principles and its image in society.

If a worker wishes to make use of these possibilities of social media, he or she should be aware of its nature and characteristics, for example that posts and information on online social media can be “automatically” linked to each other, especially if the worker himself or herself publishes the name of his or her workplace in his or her profile.

However, a direct link between the employee writing the entry and the employer can be established not only if the employer is explicitly named (e.g. by including the job in the employee’s profile), but also if the employer can be easily identified without any special technical knowledge.

Therefore, the Supreme Court has ruled that if a post made by an employee on social media is likely to create a negative image of the employer, it is objectively likely to damage the employer’s reputation and therefore the termination of employment is lawful.

We have found that such cases, which are the basis for the above decision, are often based on misunderstanding or lack of proper information. This is why this is not only relevant from an employment law perspective. This year, the whistleblowing system, which now covers companies with more than 50 employees, allows anonymous reporting of activities that harm employers’ interests. It is in the interest of all concerned that the company’s reputation is not damaged. For further information, please visit our website: