The employees mom wrote two very negative comments on our page. She even brought up a competitor and how our company doesn't have integrity.
Unless you have an contract with the employee that limits your ability to fire the employee, you have an at will employee. The employer and the employee can end an at will employment relationship at any time for any reason with or without notice. The employer is prohibited from committing unlawful discrimination or violating other public policies.
It is not clear why you would hold the employee responsible for the actions of the employee's parents.
Perhaps the employee and the parents do not get along and the parents are doing things to cause you to fire an innocent employee.
Unless the employee holds the same views as the parents, why should you fire the employee for something did by someone else, whom the employee likely has no ability to control?
What is your goal here? To decrease the negative comments on social media, etc., correct? Will firing the employee accomplish that or exasperate the problem? Is the employee valuable? In the best of all possible worlds would a continuation of the relationship with the employee be a good thing for your company? If so, mediation or a collaborative law approach to the problem may get both sides what they want.
You may want to consider hiring a lawyer to send a Cease and Desist letter. While a cease and desist letter has little legal impact, it is a relatively inexpensive way to put the poster on notice that you are not going to let these actions continue and that you are serious about pursuing your legal remedies. It also tells the poster that they could get in legal hot water which will cost them a lot of legal fees if nothing else. This will often convince them to stop their evil ways.
You will want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Many lawyers on Avvo offer a free phone consultation.
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