In today’s digital society, a large portion of our lives is lived online. This is an important part of our personal lives and social interactions. This wide visibility of our personal lives can, however, cause complications in our professional lives. Things you post on your personal social media accounts can cause problems with your employer. While this might be as simple as a “write-up” or another discipline, it can involve serious consequences – such as being fired. The employment law attorneys at Olivier & Schreiber LLP are here to help you stay safe when posting online. Follow these tips to maintain a professional demeanor on social media:
Many companies have started implementing formal, written policies about social media use. Be sure you read and understand these policies. Even if you think your post has nothing to do with your employment, it could still be covered under your employer’s social media policy. For example, what if you are wearing a work shirt in a post? What if the company’s logo is visible on your laptop or coffee mug? These are seemingly small issues that can cause big problems with employers. Prevent issues by following your employer’s social media policy to the letter.
Too often, we are given a false sense of security about our social media accounts. Privacy settings, passwords, and other security measures are not one hundred percent effective. Just think about how many devices you have signed on to a single social media account. The account can be accessed by any one of them, and hackers are constantly finding more effective ways around passwords. Even if you think you have privacy settings that prevent your employer from seeing your personal accounts, you should still assume that these posts can be seen by your employer. Consider whether you want your employer to see any post you make.
The safest policy is to post as little as possible on social media in order to reduce the risk that it will be viewed by your employer. This does not, of course, mean that you should stop posting online altogether. Simply be prudent about what you choose to post. Imagine that your employer can see every picture, tag, caption, and all the geolocators that are attached. Would you want this to be seen by your employer? If it’s a close call, do not risk it. Simply do not post (or edit your photo or caption to delete any questionable information). The best rule of thumb is: when in doubt, leave it out!
The experienced San Francisco employment lawyers at Olivier & Schreiber LLP have experience with emerging legal issues from new social media technologies. If you have questions or are facing discipline at work for social media posts, you need the advice of an attorney who is on your side. Call (415) 484-0980 or visit our website to schedule your consultation today.
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