A woman who worked for the Ohio County Sheriff’s Department in Wheeling, West Virginia is in the process of suing her former employer. In the suit, Sonya Olako, who worked as a secretary, alleges that she was fired from her position over a Facebook post.
The post in question included Olako’s comments concerning her negative experience at a local restaurant. During her visit there, Olako’s iPhone was stolen, leading her to warn her Facebook friends to avoid the restaurant.
However, the restaurant is owned by a friend of Olako’s now former boss, Ohio County Sheriff Patrick Butler. When Olako returned to work on Monday after making the Facebook post, the sheriff fired her. Immediately, Olako called the human resources department to lodge a complaint. Workers there informed her that she had been suspended for one day. Subsequently, the sheriff informed Olako that she had been suspended for two days. At the end of the two day period, Olako returned to work only to be called in to a disciplinary meeting.
Upon inquiring whether or not her lawyer could be present for the meeting, Olako alleges that she was fired. Later, she received a letter from human resources citing job abandonment as the reason for her dismissal.
In the lawsuit, Olako avers that her right to free speech was violated and that she was wrongfully discharged. Breach of contract and intentional infliction of emotional distress are also cited as causes for action in the suit. The complaint was recently filed, and it seems likely that it will be some time before a decision is reached in the matter.