Ep 64: Fired for Facebook Complaints

July 7, 2014

Nasir and Matt kick off social media week by discussingthe waitress who got fired for going on a Facebook rant after poor tipping. They also answer, “Our company has really taken off but we now need some tech work done. Should we just buy some software or bring in someone in-house?”

Full Podcast Transcript

NASIR: Welcome to Legally Sound Smart Business.
This is Nasir Pasha.

MATT: And this is Matt Staub.

NASIR: And welcome to our business podcast where we cover business in the news and also put in our legal twist and also answer some of your business legal questions that you, the listener, can send in to ask@legallysoundsmartbusiness.com.

MATT: Are you just going to not talk about the fact that, apparently, some of the guys – actually, I guess, the whole US men’s soccer team listened to the podcast on Monday hearing that you said that you thought they were going to lose. I guess that deflated them for the match on Tuesday. You’re basically to blame. The whole country is blaming you right now.

NASIR: Well, I had a lot of money running on that game. Luckily, I won.
No, just joking. Ah, yeah, well, it’s a sad affair. It was a well-fought game though.

MATT: A tough one.

NASIR: Very. By the way, we’re referring to the Wimbledon match, right?

MATT: Yeah. Well, I watch that as well but I guess we turned to Costa Rica? I don’t know who to root for. There’s eight teams left. I guess you root for the team that’s in your own section or qualifying division – unless you have some sort of ties, like your family is from somewhere.

NASIR: I’ve always enjoyed watching Germany play. They also came out the same group as US so Germany and Costa Rica are my teams. Costa Rica is more of a Cinderella hope and Germany is more likely to win.

MATT: Right. I guess we’ll see what happens. We’ll keep the audience updated for those who don’t watch.

NASIR: Yeah, basically, you could get all your scores updates from this podcast – like, a week later.

MATT: I don’t know when the final is.

NASIR: Final is I think a week from Sunday.

MATT: We’ll probably be recording when we have the final two teams or just about the final two.

NASIR: Yes, exactly.

MATT: We’ll make our predictions then.

NASIR: Well, we should get to this podcast that we’re doing.

MATT: What do we have for today? All right, this is a pretty interesting story and I’m sure this isn’t the first time this has happened. It’s the most recent time this has happened at least.
So, a waitress in Ohio just got terminated but not for maybe a reason you would think – because she went home and complained on Facebook about getting poor tips for the night. Apparently, she was Facebook friends with someone who had been a customer that night and saw it, printed it out a screenshot of the complaint from this girl’s profile, brought it into the restaurant and then they fired her which is kind of humorous. I mean, it’s kind of stupid on the waitress’ part if she knew – unless she had a million friends on Facebook. I think I would know any time a friend of mine on Facebook was someone I was waiting on but, I don’t know, that’s just me. This is pretty interesting because, with new technology, there’s new ways to get fired from a job.

NASIR: Yeah, I think Facebook status comments and private messages are probably the best way to terminate your employee, in my opinion. Maybe even have an exit interview just through some Facebook messaging. That would be interesting. Have a third-party witness somehow in there.

MATT: Mark Zuckerberg.

NASIR: Yeah, he’s spying on you anyway.
I was trying to think, you know, this is pretty interesting. Why is this news in the first place? Is she complaining that she was fired? Did she feel that she was wrongfully terminated?

MATT: That would have to be the case, right? I don’t see why this would get picked up otherwise other than her reaching out to someone and here’s what I’m guessing happened – she gets fired, she goes and talks to an attorney who is like, “Oh, we should get this out in the news, get us some publicity on this, and maybe the restaurant will feel obligated. We can use this as leverage for the impending suit that’s going to be filed against them.”

NASIR: Yeah, and I think there’s some ambiguity as to what she actually said because she says – I quote – “If you come into a restaurant and spend $50.00 or more, you should be able to tip appropriately for that.” But, of course, the restaurant says she was fired for using a derogatory name to refer to the customer which she may have neglected to include in her quote for the news story.

MATT: What she says is so proper, according to her.

NASIR: It’s just a public commentary about tipping in restaurants in the United States. That’s all.

MATT: I think there will ultimately be a lawsuit that will probably be filed against the restaurant.

NASIR: Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything there though.

MATT: Well, that’s what I was going to ask. I don’t know how it is in Ohio but I guess that they can probably fire her for whatever reason – as long as it’s legitimate.

NASIR: Ohio is an at-will state too, if I recall. And so, pretty much, yeah, people don’t realize that just because it’s online – and we’ve talked about this before – just because it’s online doesn’t mean that all of a sudden you’re protected by these weird special laws. You have to conduct yourself the same way as if you were in any public setting.

MATT: Yeah, it’s just like walking. The same thing as, if she would have been upset, walked out of the restaurant and starts venting to somebody or maybe her and another waitress come out and they’re venting about it and the customers are walking right there. It’s pretty much the same thing – except, now, they actually have visual proof that it happened.

NASIR: Yeah. Also, note that the restaurant had a corporate policy so they say about employees mentioning the restaurant on social media. With every company that has employees – we’ve talked about employee handbooks – if you have three or four employees or more, you need at least a basic handbook, I think. But having a social media policy can be important – not to have something to restrict your employees but just to have an understanding between you and your employees. Are you okay with them talking about your company in the social media sphere or you don’t want them to talk about it at all? What can they talk about? What are the restrictions? That’s important to at least have a conversation about and a written policy.

MATT: You mentioned all social media and I just realized that, this week, we’re hitting all social media stories – our Monday, Wednesday, Friday episodes. We’re starting with Facebook, transitioning into SnapChat on Wednesday. On Friday, we’re going to talk about Tinder.

NASIR: Oh, nice.

MATT: Yeah. So, it will be Social Media Week. I don’t know what our questions are.

NASIR: We planned that accordingly, actually, specifically. Last week was World Cup, right? Well, some of the episodes.

MATT: Well, no, it was World Cup and then Friday’s episode was the 4th of July episode.

NASIR: Oh, yeah.

MATT: Which would have been nice to have the US played. I can’t imagine what would have happened if they would have played – well, it would have been the final eight, yeah – they would have been playing on the 4th of July. It would have been too intense.

NASIR: That’s true. That would have been nice. Would they have played on the 4th of July? No, they would have played on Saturday, right?

MATT: I looked at this well in advance because I was wondering. I was like, “It’d be really cool if they lined up.” Basically, they would have beaten Germany and they would have won the group. They would have played whoever they played in that last match and, if they would have won that, they would have played France on the 4th of July. That would have been pretty entertaining.

NASIR: Let’s get to our question of the day. Hopefully it’s social media-based.

MATT: And it’s probably not but we’ll see.

NASIR: We didn’t tell our listeners to do that but that’s okay.

MATT: “Our company has really taken off but now we need some tech work done. Should we just buy some software or bring in somebody in-house?” and this comes from someone in Tampa, Florida.

NASIR: Tampa, Florida. I never thought about that question. This is interesting. I think it depends upon – gosh, of course, it depends.

MATT: And that’s it, all right! Well, another episode in.

NASIR: Well, I was thinking, if you want to add IP value to your company, then that’s one reason to do it in-house. Another, sometimes, these outside solutions don’t work. They’re not necessarily a great fit for what you’re doing. But, from a legal perspective, I can see if you actually develop it in-house, then you’ll be able to actually leverage that intellectual property into something else – either an acquisition or to kind of be able to be a unique thing in your marketplace

MATT: Well, I figured you would have more of an opinion on this than me but I do have some thoughts. Like you said, it does depend, but it depends how much time and how much money you have.

NASIR: Yeah.

MATT: But I like the idea of bringing your own person in just because, if you get some off-the-shelf software, it’s not going to be fully customized. No matter what you are, it’s not going to be fully customized. If you bring somebody in – either an employee or even a contractor – they can tailor exactly to what you want. So, I think there’s something to be said about that. It’s like Turbo Tax. You can go to a tax preparer and get it 100 percent customized or you can use Turbo Tax which will probably get the job done but it’s not customized to what exactly you’re looking for.

NASIR: Yeah, that’s not a bad analogy. It’s going to be more expensive, obviously, to get it customized. But, once you have a customized software for you, then you have to also pay to maintain that. Technology changes and your needs change. We have experienced this internally too. We had a proprietary practice management software and it was great for what it did. But, when our firm started getting bigger and we had other needs, it became impractical to keep updating it so we had to unfortunately trash it, but that’s my experience from it. But, if it’s something that you can leverage and sell, I think that’s a no-brainer.

MATT: You just wanted to plug in your own software that you made.

NASIR: Yeah, that didn’t go anywhere, but still…

MATT: I personally liked it and I’m not just saying that because you’re forcing me to.

NASIR: Ah, I’ll put my gun away.
All right. Well, that’s our episode.
Thanks for joining us!

MATT: Yeah, keep it sound and keep it smart!

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The Podcast Where Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub cover business in the news with their legal twist and answer business legal questions that you the listener can send it to info@legallysoundsmartbusiness.com.

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Legally Sound Smart Business

A business podcast with a legal twist

Legally Sound Smart Business is a podcast by Pasha Law PC covering different topics in business advice and news with a legal twist with attorneys Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub.
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