W2 Issues/Concerns


Blog

Check out our weekly blog posts and see the latest news and discussions happening in the HR world of business.

Respecting the Social Media Privacy of Prospective Employees

Whether they’re Tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking, LinkedIning, What’sapp-ing, or Pinteresting, no matter what the app – and there are far more out there than the six listed – you can be sure that a good portion of employees at your company are participating in some type of social media platform.

In some cases, employees use their social media platforms for purely personal reasons and leave their employers squarely out of it. However, others may say something off-color about your company, thinking it will only go out to their nearest and dearest, but not realizing that online privacy is basically non-existent. That one quibble about a recent company choice is now part of internet lore!

But what, from a legal perspective, can employees post online and what can your company do in terms of being able to monitor their interactions and act accordingly? Starting at the top, the National Labor Relations ACT (NLRA) does not protect employees who post maliciously false, offensive or inappropriate comments about their employer or clients.

However, the NLRA does protect employees’ rights to communicate with each other online about improving the conditions of their jobs and any discourse that evolves as a result.

Which leads us to the question: how much privacy is appropriate? Once again, we are met with a kind of nebulous concept. A number of states have enacted their own laws as it pertains to use of social media by employees, but it breaks down even further, with different industries and individual companies creating their own standards for online sharing. And despite all of this, lawsuits relating to social media disclosures continue to be filed at a rapid rate.

So what’s the solution to guide all this social media sharing? Create your own airtight policy to help guide these types of interactions.

Below are five things you should consider when crafting a policy of your own:

  1. Employees should be prohibited from posting confidential and/or proprietary information online – and therefore briefed extensively on what can and can’t be shared.
  2. Employees should be given “brand guidelines” that discuss how to share non-proprietary information on your company and it’s products.
  3. Employees should exercise good judgement regarding social media postings and be prepared to deal with any consequences that should arise from inappropriate actions or statements that they post online.
  4. Employees should be briefed on best practices for sharing company content on social, as well as when to comment online. One good rule of thumb is that employees should engage only in “cocktail party banter” and steer clear of controversial topics such as politics and religion. However, teaching should extend to whether employees are authorized to respond to mentions of your company or brand in online discussions (whether positive or negative).
  5. Employees must be aware if you plan to monitor social media using company computers and a clear policy must be established to determine consequences for excessive or inappropriate social media use.

Of course, these are just a few very general bullet points to get you started on developing your own policy. Should you require further assistance, a Professional Employer Organization can help set up a policy tailored to your business.

 

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HR Managers: Discover how to effectively tackle business challenges with a PEO
Small Business: Discover how Abel HR can help your business.

Featured BLOGS

  • Proposed Marijuana Legislation Leaves Employers in the Weeds

    While we hear a lot about the benefits of legalizing recreational marijuana—the business opportunities it provides, expungement of criminal records, where dispensaries will be located and the like—no one is talking about the human resource ramifications. Yes, decriminalizing recreational marijuana is a step forward in many ways, but as our home state of New Jersey inches closer to legalization, with New York hot on our heels, there are holes in the legislation that leave lots of questions for businesses. We discuss these issues in-depth in our op-ed that was published in Insider NJ. Read the full op-ed where Abel HR

  • Why Evidence-Based Decision Making Will Grow your Company

    A business owner wouldn’t make a decision without looking at the data behind it—what do the sales numbers look like? How much revenue do we need to make in order to offset the decision I’m about to make? Does it fit into the forecast? When folks discuss the role of HR, the first phrase to come to mind is unlikely to be “data-driven.” Instead, folks tend to believe that human resources focus on more human qualities: building relationships, promoting optimal communication, solving interpersonal issues, and managing career trajectories. However, evidence-based practice suggests that functions of HR managers can – and

Archives

FSA | CommuterNew EmployeeAbel PortalTime Clock