Comments

  1. You don’t necessarily need a lawyer to write up a social media policy. Though social media can be a minefield of libelous comments and dodgy territory, it can be just a case of ensuring your company has someone at the social media helm who knows not to pass comment on anything legal or unfounded and stick to facts and actual news. Here at http://www.MintOnlineMarketing.net we have a social media manager who deals with a number of different companies social media presence and he knows to stick to facts, not to pass comment on anything involving the law or comment on accusation. It is all a case of common sense. Something a lot of people don’t have on social media, unfortunately!

    • This is a good start for companies who manage other companies’ social media presence. Every company needs its own policy regarding employees’ personal social media accounts as well so that employees and the employer understand their dos and don’ts when it comes to personal postings.

  2. My case is a unique one, but hoping you can provide some insight. My employer, technically speaking, is a contracting company. However, my contract is with a large company and, for all intents and purposes, I am an employee of that company (I’ll refer to it as X). I have an X-issued email address and computer, I sit in a cube at X office, X sends me on business trips, and I am treated the same ad any X employee. The only difference is that I don’t get my paycheck (or benefits) from X. Legally speaking, my employer is the contracting agency. That being said, I feel like an X employee and culturally I am.

    On my LinkedIn profile, I post that I am an employee of X. However, I’ve just learned that my contract with the contracting agency says that I must list them as my employer. Sure, they *are* my employer, but I know no other employees (contractors) from that company and the people with which I want to network are X employees. If they were to search for me, logically they would look for my name at X. Apparently doing this is a breach of contract and grounds for dismissal. Is this legal? Why should my employer, whether an agency OR X, be able to dictate what I post on my account? Isn’t that my personal property? The way I see it, I should be able to post that I am employed by company ABC, even if it is completely false. The first amendment applies here, does it not?

  3. I was recently hired at a small drug store which is requiring me to post a disclaimer for them on my facebook page. Is this lawful?

    • Ooohh – that’s an interesting question. You should probably schedule an appointment with a lawyer to discuss the exact verbiage they want you to post in the disclaimer.

  4. My wife posted positive input on a situation that happened at my work place. There is no current social media protocol at my work. I asked her to delete it and she did. My boss told me she must not post anything regarding my work on so dial media. My boss has no control over my wife or what she puts. Now my wife is upset and tried to schedule a meeting with my boss regarding the issue. Is there anything helpful she can say to prove there is nothing my boss can do to her or me about this? Expecially being I don’t even use social media.

    • I guess if I were in this situation, my first desire would be to understand the boss’ concerns and then try to provide resources if he has misinformation or needs an education regarding what restrictions he can put on employees and their spouses.

  5. Here’s another one to add to the mix – can your boss ask the entire company (small business) to remove a connection on LinkedIn after that individual was fired (for illegal activity)?

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  7. My employer is trying to force us to join a company made Facebook group. Can they force me to do that legally?

    • Ruth Carter says:

      It depends on the situation. You’d have to have an attorney in your community evaluate the situation based on the applicable state law.

  8. Recently my employer said we are not allowed to say we work for the company on any social media and any resumes. Is this legal?

    • Ruth Carter says:

      This is one of those potential gray areas. You’d need to talk with an attorney who can fully examine the situation to be able to give you a definitive answer.

  9. I work as a bartender for a corporate restaurant chain. Recently they have asked that we either allow them to post or we ourselves create some kind of ‘meet the bartender’ blurb with a picture, our names, etc. I am not into this idea at all and I do not appreciate feeling pressured into doing it. Is it legal for them to ‘make’ me participate? Does NLRA have some kind of protection for this? Especially considering I am paid only $5/hour and have been offered no additional compensation if I allow them to use my picture to promote their business.
    Please help!
    What can I tell my bosses, politely of course, that will get them to back off?
    -Not Offering to Post Ever

    • Ruth Carter says:

      You’d have to have an attorney in your community review your employment contract and the applicable laws to get an answer to your question. You can always tell your supervisor and HR that you’re uncomfortable with their idea.

  10. Can your employer tell you who you can and can’t have as friends on your personal Facebook account?

    • Ruth Carter says:

      These questions have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. It doesn’t have a simple yes/no answer. You should talk with your HR department or a lawyer who can review your employment situation.

  11. Diana Miller says:

    I was recently fired due to posting jokes on Facebook that contained swear words and had nothing to do with the company. I was given no warning, no policy, and I worked there 4.5 years as a independent contractor and worked from home. Now they are demanding I remove their company name from all my social media accounts even though I did ad the date of last employment. Can they do that?

    • Ruth Carter says:

      I’ve never heard of a case where an employer was allowed to tell someone to remove their past employment from their social media profiles. That would be odd, espeically on sites like LinkedIn that are essentially an online resume. You would have to talk with an employment lawyer in your state to know for sure what they can’t and can force you to do with your personal social media accounts in regards to your past employment.

      • Diana Miller says:

        Thanks for your response. Since this company has consultants in different states and they are located in New Jersey would New Jersey law apply or Ohio law where I live?

  12. Maria Orozco says:

    Today my boss told me, I have to accept his request to be a friend on FB or I should clock out, also, I am a dental hygienist and he prohibit me to have patients on my FB. Is this legal?
    thanks

    • Ruth Carter says:

      When it comes to connecting with patients online, I suspect your employer might have HIPAA concerns – but what if someone was a friend before they became a patient of their practice?

      If social media isn’t part of your job, I’d question why the boss wants to be connected with you on FB. He/she can follow you and see all your public posts. I would probably say that I’m a very private person and I primarily use FB to connect with close friends so it seems inappropriate and unprofessional to accept his/her friend request. You may also want to reach out to your state’s licensing board for dentists for guidance.

      If you want to have a discussion about whether your boss’ request is legal, you should talk with a lawyer in your community who specializes in this topic.

  13. Fat Tuesday wants their employees to promote them on their personal FB accounts. Is it okay for a business to do that? My boss thought it was a great idea and wants to do it here now. Can they make us? They haven’t come right out and said our job is dependent on it, but it’s been pretty much implied.

    • Ruth Carter says:

      I’d review the Facebook terms of service to see what they say about this. There may be different rules if you want to voluntarily promote your employer on your own FB profile and if your employer wants to require employees to promote them.

      • Maria Orozco says:

        no, there is no media policy at all and he is also using this to pick on me and my work . Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question .

  14. Worried Mother says:

    Can your employer tell you that you can not be friends with anyone under the age of 18 except your own children? I have nieces and nephews plus my children’s friends. This is one way I use to keep up with what all my kids and their friends are doing.

    • Ruth Carter says:

      That seems like a weird rule. I’d probably bring the fact that you have family members and friends of your children who are under 18 to his/her attention and see how he/she reacts. I would explore what their concern is and see if there’s a way to revise this guidelines to better address this issue.

  15. I shared a funny post about “tomorrow is slap an annoying co-worker day….” I was called into the office after a “friend” printed it off and gave it to my immediate supervisor. Btw, my account is NOT set to Public but only friends. Now I’m told I will receive a verbal or written warning for this. Also, 3 of my co-workers “liked” the shared post but are not being addressed. I intend to go to my HR Department. What are my rights here?

    • Ruth Carter says:

      There is no expectation of privacy in anything you post online, including a Facebook post you make accessible only to your “friends.” Anyone can show your “private” Facebook posts to your boss and there’s nothing you can do about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgewJ_H_zis.

      This is why I say you should assume that everything you post online (regardless of privacy settings) will be seen by your best friend, worst enemy, boss, and mother.
      Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t put on the front page of the newspaper or on a billboard.

    • No policy. HR said a co-worker printed it out because it made them feel threatened. The 3 other co-workers who “liked” the post (I guess, part of my gang…..Oh brother) were not spoken to about this. The thing is, I have no enemies (or so I thought) at work. The only person I have any tension with is my immediate supervisor and she’s not even on FB. The only people I have as friends know that I’m a loving, honest, call it like it is but hope for the best, stellar employee and person. Just goes to show that a temporary lapse of judgement can s ur bite you in the butt good. Beware of your sense of humor …..

  16. Larri Alston says:

    I was fired from my position because my employer saw a picture (G rated selfie) on my Facebook page that I took while at work but I was not on duty at the time. Was it her legal right to do so?

    • Ruth Carter says:

      That would depend on the rules of your state/country and the terms of your employment contract. In the U.S., if you are an at-will employee, you can be fired for any reason, or no reason at all, as long as it doesn’t violate the law. If you’re in that situation, your boss can likely fire you for a G-rated selfie.

  17. JoAnn Davis says:

    I posted something to my FB page not mentioning any names or directed at anyone in particular. It was also vague on subject. Today my supervisor brought a printed picture of it to me because apparently someone saw it and thought it was about them. It has nothing to do with them or work. Can he control what I say on my own page especially if it makes no reference to specific people or work or subjects?

    • Ruth Carter says:

      Your situation demonstrates how you have to assume your coworkers and boss will see everything you post online. If I were in this situation, I’d probably acknowledge their concerns and point out that the post is so vague that it’s not about anybody about work. The challenge with vague posts is they can be misinterpreted.

      • JoAnn Davis says:

        I did always assume they will see it. But they should not assume it’s about them as well. What do I do, post a disclaimer every time I post so they know it’s not about them? I could see if I’d posted it on the company FB page, but my own? If they think it’s about them, then they must have the guilty conscience, not me.

  18. Hi I’m a barber . I recently changed employment and my ex employer when emailing me my p45 told me to remove any photography relating to her business from all forms of my social media. Tas a barber a huge part if our job is promoting our cuts on social media . I would have to delete everything from the last 2 years . Also my ex employer has 2 years of my work posted on her business page which she’s not removing . Do I have to delete my pictures ? Thank you !.

    • Ruth Carter says:

      If you want a legal opinion, you probably would have to have a lawyer review your employment contract and your state laws that apply to these types of scenarios. Good luck!

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  1. […] Social Media Policy – at least $10,000 Every company needs a social media policy, but employers need to understand that a federal law called the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) […]

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