Recently in Social Media and the Workplace Category

October 8, 2014

EEOC, NLRB & Me: Mark your calendars for November 12, you guys

You're Invited.jpg

What if...

I'm just saying, what if you could attend an event -- a free event, with breakfast -- and you get to hear me speak for an hour and fifteen about social media in the workplace and other hot workplace issues, and then grill me during a Q&A?

That would suck, right? Because, apart from the breakfast, who wants to hear me speak for an hour and fifteen minutes?

So, how about something better -- couldn't be worse, amirite?

How about a panel discussion featuring, oh, I dunno...

Well, hey now! Direct access to three of the most influential workplace decisionmakers in our government. And I'm the moderator. (Oh, alright! You get the free breakfast too).

Is your heart racing? Your pulse quickening? That's not the morning coffee you're feeling. 

Geared to human resources professionals, business owners, and in-house counsel, this incredible collaboration will dish at an event entitled "Social Media @Work - The #BalancingAct Between Employer and Employee." We'll cover a variety of hot topics such as: 

  • Establishing social media policies that withstand legal scrutiny
  • Exploring the impact of social media on hiring decisions
  • Determining how far is too far when it comes to sharing workplace information online

Beyond social media, each speaker will address other emerging workplace issues at their respective agencies and take your questions. And, because I love you guys, this program has been approved for 1.25 HR/General recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

You want in on this? Yeah, you do...

Social Media @Work
The #BalancingAct Between Employer and Employee

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Breakfast: 8 a.m.
Program: 8:45 a.m. - 10 a.m.
National Constitution Center
525 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Limited tickets available here.
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littletwitter.pngBoth before and during the event, follow along and tweet using #BalancingActlittletwitter.png

September 25, 2014

The Workplace Risks (and Rewards) of Social Media

Wouldn't it be great if two employment lawyers, one representing employees, another representing management, would discuss the employment-law implications of social media in the workplace on a Twitter chat? Then some other lawyers could chime in. And we'd have a moderator.

What's the word I'm looking for? Dorky? A little. But no dorkier than what the rest of you dorks discuss on Twitter.

Well, anyway, we did all this yesterday. If you missed it, keep one eye open tonight; I'm coming for you in your sleep here it is!

September 9, 2014

A restaurant posted LeSean McCoy's receipt on its Facebook page

My mind...blown!

Yesterday, the local internet feeds were flooding us with news that Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy allegedly left a 20-cent tip at a local restaurant at which he and some friends had lunch on Monday. The "smoking gun" was a copy of what is purported to be McCoy's lunch receipt from the restaurant.

I read "Eagles Player LeSean McCoy Just Left a 20-Cent Tip at PYT" on PhillyMag.com, and "LeSean McCoy tips 20 cents at PYT. The restaurant, PYT, even posted about it on its own Facebook page, complete with a copy of the supposed McCoy receipt.

I get that internet stories about a low-tipping professional athlete equal reader clicks. But how about a different angle; namely, that the person who posted a customer's receipt on social media still has his job to return to today. Or that the restaurant itself is glorifying a practice of shaming customers -- famous or not. (Remember the story of the employee who posted the Denver QB Peyton Manning's huge tip on a dinner receipt? He lost his job). Fortunately, many of the Facebook users who commented on the PYT Facebook page get that posting meal receipts, large or small, is hella-stupid...

So, what do you think, folks? Take this poll and this poll and let me know what you think in the comments...

Was PYT right to post the receipt?
 
pollcode.com free polls
What should happen to the PYT employee who posted the receipt?
 
pollcode.com free polls


UPDATE (9/9/14 4:52 pm): About an hour ago, on PYT's Facebook page, PYT's owner addressed the kerfuffle that posting the receipt created.

UPDATE (9/10/14 2:52 PM): This.

September 3, 2014

Court won't let jury see plaintiff's trial-victory prediction on Facebook

Oh, come on! What fun is that?

What did the plaintiff say and why won't the court allow the defendants to present it as evidence at trial? Find out after the jump...

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Continue reading "Court won't let jury see plaintiff's trial-victory prediction on Facebook" »

September 2, 2014

How to curse out your boss on Facebook ... and get away with it!

It's easier than you think. Indeed, a recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board bears this out.

Details after the jump...

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Continue reading "How to curse out your boss on Facebook ... and get away with it!" »

August 12, 2014

New Hampshire becomes the latest state to pass a social media workplace law

And I'm speaking today on social media in the workplace at the 2014 EEOC Excel Conference

Everything's coming up Milhouse.

More on the former (and a little about the latter) after the jump...

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Continue reading "New Hampshire becomes the latest state to pass a social media workplace law" »

August 4, 2014

Inappropriate Facebook videos, comments doom an employee's discrimination claims

On the clock or off, when employees do dumb stuff on Facebook, it could cost them their jobs. And, apparently, their discrimination claims against their former employer too.

Yep, another employee screwed up online. Go figure.

More on that after the jump...

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Continue reading "Inappropriate Facebook videos, comments doom an employee's discrimination claims" »

July 31, 2014

Disclosing an employee's medical info on Facebook is hella-stupid

Plus, it may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act too.

How one company's alleged blunder turned into an ADA lawsuit and a blog post at TheEmployerHandbook.com...after the jump...

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Continue reading "Disclosing an employee's medical info on Facebook is hella-stupid" »

July 29, 2014

Court: No First Amendment right for teacher to trash students online

Welcome to The Employer Handbook.

Extending the fifteen minutes of fame of a trash-talking blogger/teacher by a 300 word blog post.

After the jump...

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Continue reading "Court: No First Amendment right for teacher to trash students online" »

July 11, 2014

Survey reveals the top social media faux pas that doom job applicants

Call it a cheap way to increase my SEO -- Kim Kardashian Justin Bieber love child -- but I'm ending the week the way I started it: with another social media post.

Come you moths to my social media flame.

Ha Ha! Made you listen to The Bangles! Good luck getting that song out of your head. Maybe this will help. #Sike

So, while you curse me for planting kitschy 80's ballads in your head, check out the top ten social media red flags (according to a CareerBuilder survey) why companies are passing on job candidates:

  • 46% Posted provocative or inappropriate photographs or information
  • 41% Posted information about them drinking or using drugs
  • 36% Bad-mouthed their previous company or fellow employee
  • 32% Poor communication skills **Meyer curses survey**
  • 28% Discriminatory comments
  • 25% Lied about qualifications
  • 24% Shared confidential information from previous employers
  • 22% Linked to criminal behavior
  • 21% Screen name was unprofessional
  • 13% Lied about an absence

Among the worst social media content that employers had identified as candidate disqualifiers: (1) A social media profile included links to an escort service; (2) Posting a photo of one's own arrest warrant (although a sexy mugshot has been known to lead to a modeling contract); (3) Candidate had sued his wife for shooting him in the head.

But all is not lost for us social media dorks -- holla if you hear me! Survey says: social media can help separate you from the pack (in a good way, as opposed to a shot-in-the-head way) too. Among the common reasons employers hired a candidate based on their social networking presence are:

  • 46% Got a good feel for the job candidate's personality, could see a good fit within the company culture
  • 45% Background information supported their professional qualifications for the job
  • 43% Job candidate's site conveyed a professional image
  • 40% Well-rounded, showed a wide range of interests
  • 40% Had great communication skills
  • 36% Job candidate was creative
  • 31% Received awards and accolades
  • 30% Other people posted great references about the job candidate
  • 24% Job candidate had interacted with my company's social media accounts
  • 14% Job candidate had a large amount of followers or subscribers

Well, now I'm not sure if it's the "site conveyed a professional image" personal validation ** fart ** or the lingering sugar high from yesterday's Fluffernutter gorging, but I'm going to extend a final opportunity to snag a copy of my slide deck from my SHRM presentation, "Social Media: Practical Guidance from the Youngest Attorney in the Room." 

Send me an email, and the PowerPoint is yours.

Image credit: Imgur

July 9, 2014

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon, err, social media and the workplace

Work with me here folks:

  1. Late last month, I had intended to blog about this Idaho case, in which a nurse was denied unemployment compensation benefits because of a threatening Facebook post. But, Molly DiBianca at the Delaware Employment Law Blog beat me to it. You can check out her post here.

  2. Speaking of Idaho, that's right next to Montana, where you'll find the City of Bozeman. Ah yes, the City of Bozeman, the poster child for why states have enacted laws protecting employees from having to disclose social media logins and passwords. And the latest state to do so is Rhode Island. You -- yeah, you there in Providence -- can view a copy of the new law here.

  3. This flood of social media privacy laws was just one of the topics I discussed at my SHRM Annual session a few weeks ago. Last chance to get a copy of my slide deck. Just email me for it.

  4. Another subject we discussed was how to draft a "bulletproof" social media policy. Well, here's a post from Jason Shinn at the Michigan Employment Law Advisor about -- are you sitting down? -- an NLRB Administrative Law judge who broke tradition of throwing shade at social media policies long enough to actually bless one.

  5. What about your social media policy? Yeah, you! Does your policy address social media use "off the clock?" It should, because employee use of social media "off the clock" may still impact your workplace.

  6. And, finally, if you are curious about what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about employee medical information and social media -- who isn't? --  then check out Jon Hyman's post at The Ohio Employer's Blog.

Kevin Bacon, who I trust is reading this post, would be proud.

Image Credit: QualifyGifs on Imgur

July 7, 2014

Why employee use of social media "off the clock" may still impact your workplace

socialcollage.jpegA few weeks, ago I was speaking about social media and the workplace to a fabulous audience at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo. (Email me if you want a copy of my slidedeck).

One of my session themes was that there is no such thing as employees using social media "off the clock." That is, even if an individual tweets or updates her Facebook status outside of the four walls of the workplace, that communication can still impact the workplace.

Dan Davis at IBM Social Business recently blogged about this, and another Twitter user described it as the "24/7 social media conundrum" Two recent incidents described below bear this out.

The complaining waitress and poor tipper, who just happens to be the waitress's Facebook friend.

First, is comes this report of a waitress at the Texas Roadhouse, who, on her own personal time, took to Facebook to complain about customer tips. For this outburst, she was fired.

The article, which is framed in terms of the employee's supposed "First Amendment Rights" cites criticism of the restaurant for taking action against the waitress, ostensibly because she should have the right to complain (or not complain) freely about her working conditions.

However, before you go an sympathetic on me, I should mention that it's not as if the employer were twisting it's proverbial handlebar mustache as it monitored social media for workplace gripes from employees.

No, in this case, the waitress stupidly complained on Facebook about a tip from an "a**hole" customer ... who happened to be one of her Facebook friends! The Facebook friend showed the post to the restaurant manager, which in turn, led to the waitress's termination.

Folks, this is no different than if the waitress had called the customer as a**hole -- to her face. Actually, it is, because not only did the waitress embarrass her Facebook friend, a customer of the restaurant, she did so publicly.

That's a terminable offense. Period.

The Opie and Anthony Show.

As a big Howard Stern fan -- Bababooey! -- I can't say that I'm too broken up over the news from last week that SiriusXM fired Anthony Cumia, of the Opie and Anthony Show following a vulgar, violent, racist, sexist Twitter tirade.

(Gawker has a NSFW recap here).

Yes, Mr. Cumia spewed on his own time. However, what was clearly not schtick, went very viral and became very public. So, SiriusXM decided that the was not the type of person it wanted to continue to employ.

Ignore "off the clock" social media rants at your own risk.

Do employees have the right to complain about work, either offline or online? In many circumstances, they do.

But, would you tolerate the type of behavior described in the examples above? If your response is something along the lines of "what employees do on their own time is not my concern," then, it's time to step into the 21st century. Because online communication is permanent, viral, and does not respect the brick and mortar you use to insulate your employees from the outside world.

Would you stick with a "what employees do on their own time..." line if one of your employees is offended by a Cumia-style rant read on one of your computers in your workplace?

And what if that rant was specifically intended for a co-worker? When one of your employees composes a racist tweet or a sexually-harassing Facebook post aimed at a co-worker, and the "victim" complains to a HR, it does not matter that the speech was off-the-clock. If the victim feels victimized at work, it's a workplace problem. So, treat it accordingly.

Otherwise, don't lose my number when the lawsuit gets filed.

June 26, 2014

Score? US Men's Soccer's permission slip so your employees can miss work today

I remember a high school classmate of mine who had his mom send in a permission slip to excuse him from missing school for the Philadelphia Phillies' home opener. Mom's note indicated that her son was suffering from "Vernal Flu." 

Get it? Vernal Flu = Spring Fever.

Pretty creative, huh?

The US Men's Soccer team is not impressed.

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Image Credit: @USSoccer on Twitter

UPDATE: Daniel Schwartz scooped me on this last night with "A Note from the U.S. Coach is a Great Idea, But Not a Good Excuse." NEWMAN!

June 20, 2014

Survey reveals the top workplace productivity killers (Hint: one rhymes with "mocial sedia")

And most of them revolve around technology.

According to a CareerBuilder survey, here are the top ten:

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Now, on the flip side, it's easy to see how technology and, in particular, social media, could increase productivity in the workplace. Indeed, a 2013 Microsoft study, emphasizes how social media can improve collaboration and the speed with which information is shared.

We'll debate the pros and cons of social media in the workplace at my SHRM Annual sesh next week.

But, for now, how about a list of 11 hella-crazy things employees have seen co-workers doing when they should have been busy working:

  • Employee was blowing bubbles in sub-zero weather to see if the bubbles would freeze and break
  • A married employee was looking at a dating web site and then denied it while it was still up on his computer screen
  • Employee was caring for her pet bird that she smuggled into work
  • Employee was shaving her legs in the women's restroom
  • Employee was laying under boxes to scare people
  • Employees were having a wrestling match
  • Employee was sleeping, but claimed he was praying
  • Employee was taking selfies in the bathroom
  • Employee was changing clothes in a cubicle
  • Employee was printing off a book from the Internet
  • Employee was warming her bare feet under the bathroom hand dryer

I've seen the bathroom selfies on Facebook. Totally weird! What's the craziest thing you saw a co-worker doing in the workplace? Let me know in the comments below.

Image Credit: CareerBuilder.com

June 19, 2014

#SHRM14: Let's grab coffee (you're buying)

shrm.jpgAnd by coffee, I mean turkey legs and frozen blueberry-mango rum lemonade.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down...

You see that badge over there? You know what I had to do to get that badge?
Buy the full version of Photoshop
Spike the Kool-Aid of everyone on the SHRM Annual Conference Speaker Selection Committee
I beat out thousands (trillions?) of other speaker submissions to be selected as a SHRM 2014 Annual Conference & Exposition speaker.

And, crew, I got selected to speak not once, but twice. Know what that means? ***Ducks Lucifer's pitchfork***  Say, is it just me, or do any of you smell sulfur?

It means that SHRM trusts me to speak intelligently about: (1) social media in the workplace; and (2) tackling leave issues under the FMLA/ADA.

That's a lot of pressure. Let's just hope I remember to wear pants. Pretty sure I can pull it off. (The pants and the presentations).

But otherwise, when I'm not speaking, Your Blogness is up for whatever; not in a Bud Light "Up for Whatever" kinda way. See, turkey legs, et al, supra. Rather, I'd like to meet some of my readers -- the ones that aren't crazy stalkers.

So, if you're not a crazy stalker, and you like this blog, and you're gonna be at SHRM14, then drop me a line, and let's plan some time to meet. I look forward to catching up.

See you in Orlando.