A US Navy veteran lost his job with a hotel in Missouri after he posted a few photos to his Facebook page. What was in those photos? A group of Department of Homeland Security vehicles. That were parked in the hotel garage. Apparently, the hotel’s security chief called the man “a terrorist.”
Legally, the hotel may be in the right if Missouri is an employment-at-will state. But the hotel looks dumber than a bag of hammers. The vans were in a public parking garage, visible to anyone driving or walking in the garage, and weren’t hidden in any fashion. How putting the photos up on Facebook amounts to an act of terrorism is…well…it doesn’t pass the giggle test.
As a civil libertarian at heart, what really bothers me about this incident is that the hotel is telling its employees, “If you do something legal that could make us look like we don’t support the Department of Homeland Security, you’ll lose your job.” This kind of economic threat can be used to chill the constitutionally protected speech of its employees.
It may be legal, but that doesn’t make it right.