Social Media: Workplace Cool or Ultimate Firing Tool?
Imagine heading home after your 9 hour grind only to tell your pregnant wife you’ve been fired for Tweeting something unfeasible to company policy. Perhaps you’ve innocently discussed ‘insider’ information which leaked onto Facebook profiles, costing corporate stocks to plummet. Social media, consuming several hours per person each day across the world, could cost your job – and even freedom. Until recently when N.Y Times discussed how social net speech comes with protection rights, losing your comfy $60k salaried position was commonplace for social networking violators. Here’s what to expect moving forward.
Social Rules Rewritten
National Labor Relations Board has stepped into the breadth of employment loss due to social media innocence, providing new mandates which could force bigger corporations like GM and Target to redo their social media wrongdoing manuals. Since certain verbiage usage has 5th Amendment protection, canning someone for discussing how John spilled spaghetti inside company break rooms – provided it doesn’t impede work performance – isn’t punishable. Showing pictures of secured areas, however, which only certain employees (and eyes) have clearance to view still remains a huge no-no.
Federal Law even protects workers when discussing work-related matters, one minor thought which has reinstated employees previously fired. Complaining about other coworkers not performing up to snuff, according to one recent Labor Board ruling, isn’t punishable. Threatening bodily or property harm, however, is still frowned upon and immediately terminable. Many cases, including bartenders venting or news reporters begging for ‘homicidal action for news to report’, were recently affirmed by NLRB.
Two states – California and Illinois – have permanently barred employers from asking for social network passwords while many other states will soon follow suit. Costco and GM are taking their social media rules back to boards for reconsideration. One problem that is growing, however, cannot be stopped by conventional bureaucratic intervention: social media platforms, once cool and refreshing, are simply getting old – sparking a call for something new which both supersedes fun yet is workplace safe.Continued on the next page