Brazilian television host fired over Facebook post complaining about late salaries

Brazilian television broadcaster Rede TV! broke its contract with journalist Rita Lisauskas on Jan. 5, 2012 for "revealing proprietary information about the channel," according to the column Zapping in the newspaper Folha de São Paulo. In December 2011, the anchor for the television news magazine "Rede TV! News" was suspended after she complained on her Facebook page about late salary payments at the broadcaster, reported the newspaper O Jornal.

Along with the dismissal, the channel is also charging the TV host a penalty for breaking the contract, reported Adnews. Lisauskas had been with the broadcaster since 2000, hosting the news program for eight years.

Lisauskas criticized her employers over Facebook, expressing her concern over the two months of late pay and the management of the company, according to the website Bonde. "I just want to know how a businessman can sleep at night, knowing that there are hundreds of employees without any salary for at least two months the week of Christmas," she posted to Facebook.

The journalist said she does not regret posting the statement and intends to fight for her rights in court. "I wasn't naive, I knew there would be consequences, but I never imagined the broadcaster would go this far," she told the website F5. RedeTV! declined to comment on the case.

Brazilian media outlets like the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, the website UOL, and television giant TV Globo have had social media guidelines for their employees since 2009. Despite these guidelines, dismissing journalists for statements on social networks is common. Follow the Knight Center's Twitter feed on freedom of expression and social media for more information.