A college football public address announcer for one of the game’s most storied programs is the latest example of social media posts gone wrong in employment. Just one day after being hired, the Nebraska Cornhuskers terminated public address announcer Jon Schuetz after discovering that Schuetz had heavily criticized Nebraska’s chancellor on Facebook. Notably, Schuetz was terminated not for any social media posts that he made during his short tenure with Nebraska. Rather, Nebraska terminated Schuetz after discovering a social media post from last November that continued to circulate online. The post read:
[Chancellor] Harvey Perlman is as (sic) disgrace. Remember this was the guy who extended Steve Pederson’s contract only to fire him a few months later. When will he be held to account?
Nebraska’s termination of Schuetz for engaging in behavior that undermined the university’s leadership —while not surprising—demonstrates the lasting impact that social media can have. Though often written off-the-cuff and without much forethought, social media posts can hang around, and give employers a lot more information than they used to have about employees and applicants. Of course, the use of such information comes with pitfalls for employers who gather information about legally protected categories or do not uniformly utilize such information.