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April 10, 2018

How Social Media Can Spell Trouble for Employers

Category: Employment Law, Social Media | Tags: , , ,

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Social media lawsuits are everywhere. The level of awareness of social media for employers needs to increase if they want to protect their company and their workers. 

Social Media in the Workplace

Many social media lawsuits could be averted if companies had a written policy in place. Drafting a social media for employers policy requires careful thought. Typically, it’s sensible to work with an attorney to craft the policy so that it falls in line with applicable laws. The best social media in the workplace policies allow employees to keep reasonable First Amendment rights while also protecting the employer from liability.

Social Media for Employers

Many people don’t fully understand their First Amendment rights, nor do they understand that their employer may be able to limit these rights under specific circumstances. Once a company’s social media in the workplace policy is crafted, every employee needs to be trained on it. This may prevent social media lawsuits when a worker posts something derogatory about a client or a co-worker.

Try to Document

Gathering evidence in social media lawsuits can be tricky, especially since posts can be deleted. Whenever possible, employers should work to preserve posts that are derogatory toward clients or co-workers as support for possible discipline or litigation. Social media lawsuits may hinge on the quality of the documentation that is obtained. Use of social media in the workplace accordingly requires the use of appropriate means to collect evidence.

Stay Professional

One of the most critical rules for social media for employers is to befriend employees in the virtual world with caution. “Friending” a worker can give the supervisor insight into intimate details regarding medical history and religious affiliations that can put companies at risk for discrimination lawsuits.

Suggest that Employees Keep Their Professional Lives in Mind

Social media in the workplace is often a necessary part of operations. However, it may make sense to encourage workers to keep their professional and personal social media presences separate to avoid running afoul of company policies. Common-sense use of social media for employers requires maintaining a professional tone in all online forums.

If you or someone you know is in need of legal assistance, in Kansas or Missouri, contact Miller & Terry today at (816) 875-0470!