Could Venting About Work On Facebook Get You Fired?

We've all done it — grousing about our employers during our off hours.

Sometimes it's over drinks with like-minded co-workers. Sometimes it's at home with a sympathetic spouse (or one who will at least feign interest).

When we're frustrated about work, it can help to blow off steam and let loose all the things we wish we could say at the office. After all, when we're on our own time, we can say whatever we want, right?

Not necessarily. The prevalence of social-networking sites, texting, e-mail and Twitter are blurring the line between private and public communication.

Sometimes a rant that we may feel is a private statement becomes akin to a public attack if enough people see or hear it. And that is catching employers' attention.

Last week, an employee of the Philadelphia Eagles got a lot of attention after he was fired for criticizing his employer on his Facebook page.

Dan Leone, a gate worker at the team's stadium, had posted an angry, expletive-laced complaint about the team's failure to re-sign safety Brian Dawkins. Management found out and fired him for making the team look bad.

In February, a British teen was fired from her job at a product-development company for complaining on her Facebook page that the work was "dull" and that she was bored.

And last fall, a group of 13 Virgin Atlantic employees were fired for criticizing the airline's passengers in a discussion on Facebook. The airline said the postings "brought the company into disrepute."

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