Fired Facebook Fireman Filing Federal Lawsuit

Facebook Postings Led To Bourne Fireman Losing Job


With apologies to George Orwell.

Richard Doherty is filing a federal lawsuit against the town of Bourne. Thomas Guerino, the  Town Administrator, was also named in the suit. The suit was filed at the US District Court of Massachusetts in Boston.

He claims that the town violated his First Amendment rights when they fired him after some Facebook postings he made. The Mattapoisett man was a firefighter and EMT for the Bourne Fire Department until last February, when he got the proverbial axe.

Doherty had used the social networking site to vent his frustration with town procedures and fire department safety issues. He also complained about having to work overtime on July 4th. The town claimed that he ridiculed and disparafged other town employees. Someone from the Town read it, and Doherty was relieved of his position.

Doherty is suing for back pay, emotional distress, legal fees, and reinstatement of his job with the BFD. He equates his use of Facebook to that of a man venting about his job at the bar. I suppose the town thinks that they were justified in viewing his page and acting upon things posted there.

It should be an interesting and far-reaching court case. We'll keep you informed. See the original story here.

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