Articles Posted in Social Media and the Workplace

Pablo Sandoval (17234905956).jpg

Last week, CareerBuilder.com released its survey of the most common workplace productivity killers. Three of the top four were cell phones, the internet, and social media. In Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval hit all three of those.

During a mid-game trip to the bathroom, Panda grabbed his cell phone and “liked” a few pictures of a woman on Instagram.

Bruh!

A sports blogger caught the in-game “like” and exposed Panda on Twitter. Panda later admitted his faux-pas (although, he claims that he meant to like other photos — bruh!). Either way, cell phone use within 30 minutes before game time is against Major League Baseball’s policy. So, Panda rode the pine last night, serving a one-game suspension.

I could on with this story, but, I’ll defer to the PTI guys, Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser, and this amusing exchange.

Image Credit: “Pablo Sandoval (17234905956)” by Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA – Pablo Sandoval. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Forcing job applicants to disclose social media logins and passwords as a condition of employment is so 2013 — kinda like this crappy blog. So, the State of Oregon is this close to becoming the first state to expand its social media workplace privacy law to forbid employers from requiring their employees or job applicants to have personal social media accounts as a condition of employment.

You can read a copy of the bill here.

So far, the bill has made it through both the House and Senate without a single “nay.” And, Mark Zuckerberg plans to buy Oregon, rename it “Gotcha, Zucka!” and secede from the Union the Governor plans to sign the bill. The new law would only impact social media accounts used exclusively for personal purposes unrelated to any business purpose of the employer or prospective employer and that is not provided by or paid for by the employer or prospective employer.

I understand the good intentions of the bill. Work is work; personal is personal and worlds don’t have to collide. But, consider two points: Continue reading

It’s funny.

(Not “ha ha!” funny. Just, employment-law blogger, wry-smile funny).

I read different surveys about social media and hiring and the numbers vary greatly. For every survey that indicates that employers are not using social media to vet candidates, you get the one I read last night from CareerBuilder.com, which reports that “fifty-two percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, up significantly from 43 percent last year and 39 percent in 2013.” Continue reading

Raise your hand if you don’t own a smartphone.

According to this Pew survey, 64% of American adults own smartphones. And that’s just the adults.

So, it should come as no surprise that, in the brief amount of time it takes someone to pull a phone of a pocket, bring it to life, pull up a camera app, and hit record — five seconds maybe — anything you (or your employees) do in public can be stored and shared. Continue reading

If you are a Philadelphia employer, check out my post from February and this poster. While the new law requires employers of 10 or more to provide paid sick leave, those with 9 or few employees must still provide unpaid sick leave. If you haven’t done so already, update your employee handbooks.

For the rest of you (and, I suppose, my Philadelphia employer readers too), the results of yesterday’s Facebook poll are in…and not all that surprising.

71% of those who responded would fire an employee who identifies herself on Facebook as one of your employees and, in a status update, praises the murder of two police officers. Others would either discipline/counsel the employee (21%), or do nothing to the employee (4%). One of you would consult the company’s social media policy before taking action. Another one of you would discuss with the employee first and then decide what to do.

And one more of you would “Put her on a one-way flight to Itan or Notth Korea.”

It’s even better with the misspellings. In fact, I’m just going to leave that there and walk away from the computer now.

 

Over the weekend, while enjoying my tea and krumpets twenty minutes alone in the bathroom free from four screaming kids, I read this story in U.K.’s Daily Mail about a Facebook post from a fast-food chain employee. Shortly after news hit about two police officers gettign shot and killed, she wrote: ‘2 police officers was [sic] shot in hattiesburg [sic] tonight.! [sic].’ The same post include a few emoji (among them, a smiley face and a skull), followed by ‘GOT EM’ and a gun pointed at the words. In a subsequent Facebook post, the employee added, “we can turn this bxtch [sic] into Baltimore real quick.’ Continue reading

Sure, I could have used today’s post to address yesterday’s unanimous Supreme Court decision about EEOC conciliation efforts.

But this is The Employer Handbook. It’s not like I just got the call up to the major leagues.

By now, my blog game is hella-strong, yo! I troll sites like TMZ and Deadspin for fodder. And when I see stories like Samar Kalef’s “Rockets’ Twitter Guy Fired Over Emoji Violence, well, like a moth to a flame. Continue reading

I can’t blame you if last month’s decision from the National Labor Relations Board, left you asking the question: “Are there no limits to what employees can get away with on social media?” The Board decision, in case you missed it, reinstated an employee who went on Facebook and called his boss a “NASTY MOTHER F*&KER”  and, then added, “F*&k his mother and his entire f*&king family!!!!”

So, yeah, I’ll admit it. The Board’s decision leaves me wondering how far an employee can go when discussing the terms and conditions of employment.

Still, I’m here to reaffirm that there are limits. Indeed, when an employee uses social media to discuss matters unrelated to the workplace, there’s probably no protection available.

Continue reading

[WARNING: This post has some VERY foul language. Although the National Labor Relations Board may tolerate it, many of you may be offended].


 

By now, all of us have read the articles, which claim that the law permits your employees to complain about work on social media … and keep their jobs.

Well, that’s not exactly true. The National Labor Relations Act, which applies to most private-sector workplaces — both union and non-union — protects employees who engage in protected concerted activity. Protected concerted activity is where employees discuss working conditions with one another.

But, an employee who gripes alone is not protected. Also, vulgar and obscene comments are not protected.

Until now. Continue reading

Your company has set up a private LinkedIn Group. Your company, which controls who may become a member of the Group, has seen the number of Group members swell to nearly 700. Way to go! Because it’s a private group, the names of all of the group members are not generally available to the public.

Now, let’s say that the employee whom you have appointed to manage the LinkedIn Group — the one who knows all the passwords — up and leaves. And, of course, he doesn’t return the passwords. What can you do?

How about a lawsuit for misappropriation of trade secrets? Continue reading