Karen Kiley Reporter
5:12 p.m. EDT, August 11, 2011
FANCY GAP; Va. —
If you won’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online. It’s a lesson a Galax man recently learned the hard way, when he mixed work and social media.
Roger Barr says he was happily employed until his online persona was brought to his employers attention and he was fired.
Now he’s using the same social medium that got him canned, to garner support for what he feels was a wrongful termination.
“I loved it. It was the best job I’ve ever had,” said Roger Barr enthusiastically.
After being unemployed for two and a half years, Roger Barr was thrilled to get hired as a door-greeter at Walmart.
“I was having an absolute ball,” he said. “And I was good at it. But you spend all day long being nice to people and once in a while someone’s not that nice to you.”
So Barr logged online to vent his frustrations through Facebook posts.
“I know some of them are controversial, but they get people to thinking,” explained Barr of why he makes the controversial comments.
Barr has said things about the handicapped, about over population, about religion, politics, and health care.
“Better health care means that disabled and chronically ill people live longer.” … Reader’s Digest… But is that a good thing?” reads one post.
“Ever wonder why Bible is pronounced “buy-bull”? reads another posts.
“The government needs to step in and set a limit on the amount of kids people are allowed to have based on their income. If you can’t afford to feed them, you shouldn’t be allowed to have them!!!” reads another post.
“I didn’t think they would really get as upset as they did,” Barr said a bit surprised of the reaction to some of the comments.
Barr says one woman was so offended by his posts, he says she complained to Walmart. He was suspended then fired.
“I have some, you know, opinions on things that people don’t agree with, but I keep it away from work. I was very careful to keep it away from work,” said Barr.
Barr’s Facebook profile indicated he was a Walmart employee and he also mentioned the company’s name in his Facebook posts.
A Walmart spokesperson says the company has policies for the expectations of employees behavior and conduct. Those policies apply broadly, whether the employee is in the store, in person, or online, according to the spokesperson.
Walmart does not comment on personnel issues specifically, but the spokesperson did confirm that Barr was fired on August 1.
As always, please consult with a Virginia attorney about legal issues raised in this article. Every situation is unique.
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