Soldier Selfie Raises Questions Into Employee Free Speech

By: KKTV
By: KKTV

A photo of a soldier that has gone viral over the past few days has raised questions over what rights employees have when it comes to free speech.

Fort Carson tells 11 News they are investigating the soldier in the photo. She has been identified as Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey. The caption on the photo states Sheffey is hiding in her car so she won't have to salute the American flag.

"This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don't have to salute the 1700 flag," the caption reads.

Fort Carson officials said they know about the photo, and are trying to figure out what to do next. It's still not clear if Sheffey wrote the caption, or if she was the victim of a prank.

11 News reporter Mekialaya White spoke to experts about what rights employees have when it comes to social media.

Attorney Mike McDivitt says it varies by case, but what an employee says on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram could hurt them if they are speaking out against an employer.

"The Colorado Off-Duty Employees Act doesn't give protection for anything they say or anything they do, even in the civilian world," McDivitt said. So I can't imagine they're gonna give protection necessarily in the military."

Bottom line: you could be fired for something you post, even on your own account when you're not at work.


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