It is understandable that an employee might want to vent their frustrations about an employer and management during a particularly stressful time, but if they share these thoughts on social media they might be in trouble.

Some examples include the recent free speech case in which a public servant lost her High Court fight after being fired over anonymous tweets criticising the government, which were found to have breached the Australian Public Service Code of Conduct.

Or, the hotly debated Israel Folau case, which sees Mr Folau suing former employer Rugby Australia for unlawful termination of his playing contract after he was sacked for social media posts many regarded as homophobic.

The news is filled with stories of this nature, and recent research from cyber security firm McAfee reveled almost a quarter of Australian workers know someone who has had career or job prospects negatively affected by social media content they have posted or been tagged in.

The research also showed almost one in 10 respondents had posted negative content about their current workplace and one in 5 believed they could lost their job over social media content.

There is no clear legislative standard for firing an employee because of their social media activity, according to MKI Legal Director Nicholas Marouchak.

"The way it's governed, most of the time, is essentially under unfair dismissal law, as there is no specific legislation per se which governs it," he said.

"What really governs social media in a workplace would be a social media policy."

If you don't have a social media policy then it falls onto other policies like a code of conduct, according to Modern Legal Employment Law Specialist Sarah McLeod, but it is much better to have a specific policy in place.

"What you'd be wanting to get your employees to understand with a social media policy is how they can use social media," she said.

"Whether that's in a work context on behalf of the company, and what are the boundaries around when they are using social media in a personal capacity?"

Ms McLeod said the separation of personal and work life was becoming more blurred, thanks in part to social media.

"A lot of the decisions from the Fair Work Commission (FWC) are saying it doesn't matter if it is outside of work time, what matters more is if the post is somehow connected to the employment," she said.

"When someone's posting on public platforms, it's not private communication. It's not difficult for the employer then to obtain that information."

This is where freedom of speech and freedom of expression come into the conversation, but Mr Marouchak said in Australia we only had implied freedom of political speech, not an inherent right like that of the United States.

"There isn't this broad freedom of speech right in Australia," he said.

"So, when it comes to the social media policies and governing employees' out-of-work behaviour, the FWC will need to find a link between the employees' out-of-work conduct and their employment.

"In the Israel Folau case he is saying he was dismissed because of his religious beliefs and he's also making the argument that it was his political opinion.

"But the case is unique, as discrimination cases are not normally linked to a social media policy breach."

For Rugby Australia, the counter argument is quite simple.

"All they have to do to win is say they didn't dismiss him because of his religious belief, or his political opinion, but convince the Court it was because he broke the code of conduct," Mr Marouchak said.

While it might be cathartic to vent about  your work and your boss, it might be best to keep it off social media.

Rhys Prka is a Journalist at The West Australian Newspapers and is a writer for 'Leader', AIM WA's magazine for members.