Workers’ Social Media Misuse Dogs Employers
“Corporate clients [are] often ‘surprised and upset’ when told they can’t fire employees for talking about work online, lawyer says.” That’s according to a recent AP article, posted on MSNBC.com. In fact, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has reported a surge in complaints caused by confusion regarding what workers can and cannot post on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Here’s a sample of suits involving employee posts on social media sites:
- Five New York employees were ordered back to work after they’d been fired for making comments on Facebook about issues with other employees.
- A union worker who was fired for calling her boss ugly names on Facebook reached a settlement with her employer, an ambulance company. The employee and the NLRB had sued the business for wrongful termination. Part of the settlement included an order to revise the company’s “overly broad” Internet posting policy.
- Cisco Systems Inc. was sued twice for comments made by a company attorney who blogged anonymously about 2 lawyers and their patent-infringement suit against the brand.
Corporate social media policies will go a long way toward better protecting your brand against allegations and lawsuits. Is your company ready? What are you doing to mitigate misuse by employees, who may not even be aware of the potential issues?
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