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Problem #1: Firing employees for what they "like"

While a county sheriff was running for re-election, several employees of the sheriff's department "liked" the sheriff's opponent's Facebook page. The employees were fired. Suppose the employees are appealing the firing. Assume the employment contract does not cover this situation.

A) Assume you are representing the employees; argue that they should not be fired. Give several reasons.
B) Assume you are representing the sheriff's department. Argue for the right of the department to make the decision. Respond to the arguments of the employees' representative.

Problem #2: Social media and employment discrimination

Age discrimination in hiring is illegal. Suppose an older person has filed a complaint with the federal government's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that a company that uses social media as its main tool to recruit new employees is illegally discriminating against older people, who are less likely to use social media.

A) Argue for the older person's claim and propose appropriate regulations.
B) Argue against the claim.

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Facebook pages of employees are their personal matter; their work superiors have no right to monitor employee’s personal lives. Employees should not be fired, because a “like” on Facebook should be protected by the First Amendment. “Liking” something on Facebook is an expression of free speech, as it involves expression of one’s mind. The employees did nothing wrong, they simply expressed their political opinion over the internet, and the sheriff has no right to fire them. The employees in question, while “liking” the Facebook page, were speaking as citizens about a matter of public concern, rather than as employees about a matter of personal interest....
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