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Expert: Rioters can legally be fired for participation in Capitol breach

Posted at 5:50 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 17:47:13-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Several rioters who participated in Wednesday's Capitol breach are now being fired from their jobs for their participation, after being caught on video or in pictures.

The FBI is now asking for the public's help to identify the rioters.

San Diego legal analyst Dan Eaton explains an employer can't legally fire someone for simply expressing political views, but can do so the moment potential criminal activity is involved.

"If they’ve engaged in lawful conduct, it’s going to be very hard for someone in the private workplace to contend that they can’t be fired," says Eaton.

The same goes for social media. Eaton says terminating someone for supporting or criticizing the government is not likely, but for example, applauding or encouraging criminal action at the Capitol through social media could have consequences.

"An employee is going to be more vulnerable for praising conduct that you could say is criminal in nature," explains Eaton.

Ultimately it is up to the employer to make the decision, but if it borders on criminal activity, Eaton says the termination can likely hold up in court.