An employer can look at its employees’ posts on social networking sites, but it needs to be careful in how it responds -- or does not -- to what it sees there.
In testimony before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on March 12, 2014, employment law attorney Jonathan Segal, speaking on behalf of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), said: “To ignore social media today is like ignoring e-mail 20 years ago. Social media is no longer cutting-edge; it is now mainstream.”
Having a social media policy -- and training employees to follow it -- are critical practices for every organization. Even if your company is not using social media, you still need a policy because your employees are using it in their private lives and they need guidelines to protect your interests and your organization’s reputation.
Before creating a social media policy, employers should decide what they want to get out of social media, advises Eric Meyer, a partner in the labor employment law group of Dilworth Paxson LLP.
“This place is a hell hole. If I had a car today I would up and quit.”
This is a real Facebook status update referenced in a discussion on the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) member bulletin board. The question raised: What should be the next step for the manager? Discussion? Termination? Nothing?
It’s a scenario played out in workplaces all over the world, experts say -- people tattling on their Facebook friends.