Doctors and staff at Total Health Center for Family Medicine came to work Wednesday with no idea of the firestorm that awaited them. A now-former-employee had posted racial slurs overnight about the presidential election on her personal Facebook page. By Wednesday morning, they'd spread almost nationwide.
"This person's social network reflected her employment location, it was interpreted as the office's view which it is clearly not," stated Dr. John Gerguis, one of three physicians in the practice.
The practice is affiliated with East Georgia Regional Medical Center and its parent company. Gerguis said they notified the company immediately after the posts were brought to the staff's attention. Within hours, the employee was no longer employed.
"We wanted to make it very clear that the view of the particular individual by no means reflects the views of anyone in this office or of the practice," Gerguis stressed.
Statesboro attorney Susan Cox said free speech is not without limits. She said cases involving fired employees and their Facebook posts are happening across the state and nation.
"There's a case pending in North Georgia where a teacher had pictures of herself with a beer stein at a German brewery during a summer vacation," Cox explained. "A parent saw it and complained. The school board fired her because they felt she couldn't be effective with her students."
She says employees should remember small things such as listing their employer can be considered enough to associate any controversial posts with where they work.