Can one click of a mouse get you fired? Under current precedent, an attorney who spoke with FOX 9 News says that employees could be at risk -- unless the U.S. Court of Appeals reverses another judge's ruling.
It takes less than a second to click a button on Facebook, but that move meant unemployment for a deputy sheriff in Virginia. Daniel Ray Carter Jr. was fired after he liked the Facebook page of "Jim Adams for Hampton Sheriff." The problem? His boss is the current sheriff seeking re-election against Adams.
Now, that free speech case is moving through America's highest courts.
FOX 9 News spoke with attorney Steve Aggergard, who advises his clients on a variety of First Amendment issues. He recommends keeping control on the front end of your Facebook until the precedent is changed.
Aggergard also recommends that workers and students learn if their company or school has a policy on social media before posting and putting yourself at risk.
Currently, Facebook likes are not protected speech, but an appeal could reverse Judge Raymond A. Jackson's ruling that "liking a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection."
In a rare move, Facebook got involved in the case to tell the court that their "like" button is the 21st century equivalent of a front-yard campaign sign.
Free-speech advocates argue that the "like" should have been clearly protected by Carter's right to freedom of expression.