A recent New Jersey employment law decision in the case of A.B. vs. Board of Education of the City of Hackensack, Bergen County illustrates the dangers of public employees, especially teachers, posting suggestive content on their social media accounts, and the reach and consequences of the New Jersey “Pass the Trash” Law.
A.B. was a teacher with the Hackensack Board of Education. In 2013 the Board was advised that A.B. had made inappropriate posts on her social media page, including: “Fuck me, I’m Irish”, and “Women say Men Think with Their Penis. Ladies, don’t be afraid to blow their minds.” Finding these posts could potentially constitute sexual misconduct, the Board considered discipline and started an investigation, including referrals to the Hackensack Police Department and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. The Board of Education was particularly concerned that A.B.’s post could have been seen by her minor age students. Three days later, the Board of Education and A.B. entered into a settlement agreement in which she resigned. She then went to work for another school district. New Jersey enacted the Pass the Trash Law in 2018.