By: Brian D. Boreman
Social media is an extremely popular means of communicating that is used by employees both inside and outside the workplace. The term “social media” can include: blogs, which is the this message is being communicated to you; networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace; microblogs such as Twitter; and video sites such as You Tube. Depending upon the manner in which a communication is made by an employee, it may be difficult to determine whether the communication is personal or professional in nature. As such, because posted material can reflect on both the employee and the employer, an employer must take steps to protect against the potentially adverse affects that flow from the misuse of social media.
As such, employers should develop specific policies regarding the use of social media. In addition to controlling the use of social media in the workplace, employers should also place limitations on what an employee can discuss regarding the business of the employer, or its customers, while outside the office. Examples include prohibiting employees from using social media to disseminate proprietary information of the employer or from making any disparaging remarks about the employer. Further, to assist in the enforcement of these policies, employees should always be informed that social networking is subject to monitoring by the employer.
To learn more about implementing and enforcing social networking policies, or for any other employment-related issues, please contact Brian D. Boreman.