Rise of the Employee Social Media Policy (1 Viewer)

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NoPartyMike

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I work for a national company. A local business owner had a strongly worded opinion about the recent riots (destruction of property) in the nation. A co-worker "shared" the post on their social media and retorted with their opinion on the matter, followed by a call to discontinue business with the local owner.

People who support the local business owner discovered where my co-worker works through their social media and have since been blowing up our corporate office through emails and calls, calling for their firing. The corporate office advised that they've already dealt with several of these scenarios this year, nation wide.

Our corporate office also said they are in the works of releasing a new Employee Social Media Policy. I'm not sure what it will consist of, but they cited it's in response to the recent tensions in America and the upcoming presidential election.

Can a balance be struck between the freedom to express one's opinion vs a real call to impact one's life due to a difference of opinion?
 
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Maxp

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Ultimately, I believe the employer has the right to fire an employee over their social media posts. We are still in the infancy of instant global media, these issues will work themselves out so long as Trump doesn't destroy our republic.
 

samiam5211

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I think it would be hard for the government to make an enforceable law to prevent employers from firing an employee for social media posts.
 

Saintamaniac

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Can a balance be struck between the freedom to express one's opinion vs a real call to impact one's life due to a difference of opinion?
Don't fall into the trap. You and everyone else in America is free to express your opinion. You are not, however, free from the consequences of expressing that opinion. For me, this forum and Saintsreport constitute my only venture into social media. I don't do twitter, facebook or any other social media platforms. Yes, it's nice to be able to express support for or opposition against topics, issues, policies, etc. But that comes with a price.

There is a lot of power in being able to do so instantly and have it seen potentially around the world. With great power comes great responsibility. Each of us is responsible for protecting our family's well being. When you (in the general sense) have an opinion on something so strongly that you have to put it out on social media, you have a responsibility to yourself and to your family to consider if it is actually worth putting all of that in jeopardy just to make that post.
 

JRad

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You and everyone else in America is free to express your opinion. You are not, however, free from the consequences of expressing that opinion.
More or less this is where I was going with it.

I don't particularly like it. As long as you aren't going overboard with, say, hate speech or giving out company secrets, your opinions are yours and yours alone. At the same time, you know the conditions of your employment, so:

you have a responsibility to yourself and to your family to consider if it is actually worth putting all of that in jeopardy just to make that post.
 

samiam5211

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If "at-will" employment weren't so prevalent, it would be much harder to fire someone for their opinion on social media.
I wish we had more union organization.

Everyone considered an “employee” should unionize across the country regardless of profession.

Employees don’t need government to assert their will. They are the most powerful bargaining unit in the country. If they are united.
 

The moose

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I wish we had more union organization.

Everyone considered an “employee” should unionize across the country regardless of profession.

Employees don’t need government to assert their will. They are the most powerful bargaining unit in the country. If they are united.

I would point out that right to work is not the same thing as at will employment.

Yes they are similar but not the same.

The first thing people need to understand about at will employment is you don't treat them like the good old days and give them two weeks notice. Your at will job will fire you the second you put in your notice. You work till your new job starts then call in a quit the day you start the new one. Don't show loyalties to an employer that has none for you.

The whole way people are employed now is just horrible no loyalties to employees what so ever. The whole right to work push by the republicans is killing any real bargaining power the unions have because it pushes down numbers in the union.
 

insidejob

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Don't fall into the trap. You and everyone else in America is free to express your opinion. You are not, however, free from the consequences of expressing that opinion. For me, this forum and Saintsreport constitute my only venture into social media. I don't do twitter, facebook or any other social media platforms. Yes, it's nice to be able to express support for or opposition against topics, issues, policies, etc. But that comes with a price.

There is a lot of power in being able to do so instantly and have it seen potentially around the world. With great power comes great responsibility. Each of us is responsible for protecting our family's well being. When you (in the general sense) have an opinion on something so strongly that you have to put it out on social media, you have a responsibility to yourself and to your family to consider if it is actually worth putting all of that in jeopardy just to make that post.
I don't wade into political or religious waters whatsoever on Facebook since my real name and business are attached to my account. Twitter, otoh, I go hog wild with politics and religion since I'm just a handle anonymously on a forum like I am here. Until Trump starts a nuclear war via tweet and the whole platform ends up being shut down because of it.
 

GrandAdmiral

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I don't wade into political or religious waters whatsoever on Facebook since my real name and business are attached to my account. Twitter, otoh, I go hog wild with politics and religion since I'm just a handle anonymously on a forum like I am here. Until Trump starts a nuclear war via tweet and the whole platform ends up being shut down because of it.
I have two Twitter accounts myself. Don't tell them that though...
:biglol:
 

Richard

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Can a balance be struck between the freedom to express one's opinion vs a real call to impact one's life due to a difference of opinion?
This is one of the problems people have in understanding freedom of speech. The right to speak freely is rarely in question, but rather people want to discuss the unfairness of the consequences of exercising that right. Freedom of speech does not automatically grant one the freedom from the consequences that may come.

The business example is particularly apt. No one is preventing someone from having a difference of opinion or in making that opinion known through various outlets, such as social media, blog posts, letters to the editor, etc. However, the right of a person to say what they will through a legal medium does not grant them blanket immunity from consequences in society. An employer, in most cases, should have the right to disassociate the business from an individual expressing an opinion that could negatively impact that business.

People should recognize that the right to freedom of speech was instituted as a guard against the government's ability to restrict dissent, not a protection of an individual's right to say, do or express what they want in any manner they choose through any venue.
 

Farb

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I know of 2 teachers that have been fired from their teaching positions (elementary and on in the high school level) that were recently terminated because of facebook posts. They were not offensive posts, mainly the protest, not riot type post. The school boards made a statement about how much they care and listen to the community. 1 day later, I think they had to end up hiring both teachers back because of the out pouring of support from the actual community. I think one board is being sued and the other issued an apology.
 

GrandAdmiral

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I've had to threaten two employees over posts they made. One decided to discuss why another employee was terminated. The other put our federal finding in jeopardy because she decided to post campaign material while at work (she was running for office). She them wore a company shirt to a campaign event and posted pictures to her page.
 

Richard

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I know of 2 teachers that have been fired from their teaching positions (elementary and on in the high school level) that were recently terminated because of facebook posts. They were not offensive posts, mainly the protest, not riot type post. The school boards made a statement about how much they care and listen to the community. 1 day later, I think they had to end up hiring both teachers back because of the out pouring of support from the actual community. I think one board is being sued and the other issued an apology.
Without seeing the posts, I can’t say for sure, but it sounds like a classic school board overreaction. Seen similar responses over the years. To me, it underscores my point that people can say what they want on these social media sites, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be consequences. As long as people are willing to risk friendships, relationships or possibly their job, they are free to be as offensive or inappropriate as they want on social media.
 
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NoPartyMike

NoPartyMike

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It's somewhat comforting to see we're not the only company dealing with these things. The populace is just so heated these days. I agree that the days of silence and look-the-other-way played a hand into today's tensions. It's pretty eye opening when the whirlwind of reaction starts slapping you in the face. I didn't vote for Trump and I never really liked his "style,", but I always thought the pressure against him was way overblown. I can see now that his inflammatory game-show-winning stances are unhealthy for the country. Same goes for other inflammatory politicians in both parties. Further damaged by the media's need to sensationalize every news clip. We desperately need to elect politicians with calm and open minds. We should also demand better of our media markets. I think that would go a long way help the populace to simmer down and have productive conversation, including those conversations across social media.
 
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MT15

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As far as I know, my company HR only gets active about an employee’s social media if they trash the company or post pictures of their workplace.

I don’t know what would happen if an employee started posting hate speech or such. My guess is they would be fired if their social media account identifies the company they work for, though.

Most of the time, common sense will keep you out of trouble.
 

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