Woman fired on first day for Facebook post

Daycare worker jokes she 'hates kids'

Kaitlyn Walls

A 27-year-old single mother in Texas has managed to get herself fired on her first day.

Kaitlyn Walls was due to start working at a local daycare centre - but wasn't looking forward to it. "I start my new job today, but I absolutely hate working at daycare," she posted on Facebook. "Lol, it's all good, I just really hate being around a lot of kids."

But the post quickly attracted attention from a Facebook group of 8,000 local residents, who quickly piled in with critical comments. It wasn't long before her new employers found out, and she was told not to bother coming in the next day.

She told CBS local: "It really was a big mistake. I don't hate children. I have my own... I love her. I'm not going to post anything like it ever. No matter how I feel."

And, she later added on Facebook: "Oh man I made a big mistake. I'm so sad. I feel like a failure here looking at my daughter crying because I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to find a job because of my own stupidity."

Kaitlyn Walls' Facebook post

Ms Walls is far from the first person to lose a job over ill-judged posts on social media. She's not even the first Texan to be fired on her first day. Earlier this year, Twitter user 'Cellan' tweeted: "Ew I start this f*** a** job tomorrow" - in a post seen by a prospective colleague.

While the law wasn't designed with Facebook and Twitter in mind, there have been a number of cases in which judges have ruled that social media posts are public comments. If an employee's post brings a company into disrepute, it's entitled to take action. This applies even if - as in the case of the Virgin Atlantic cabin crew who described seeing cockroaches on their planes - the post is accurate.

As a result, it's worth being careful: checking your privacy settings on sites such as Facebook and keeping your list of friends under control - and remembering that all posts on Twitter are public by default.

Sometimes people are able to fight back: Alan Blue, for example, who was fired from his job as a meat hygiene inspector after 'liking' a post in which a recently-sacked colleague referred to hitting a manager over the head with a chair. He was awarded £32,799.13 by an employment tribunal, which concluded that the conversation was acceptable banter.

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