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Social Media in the Workplace


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Right now, several of your employees are updating their Facebook statuses. Oh, your company blocks Facebook at work? That won’t stop your employees from accessing Facebook on their phones and at home. However they choose to engage online, in this session, a lawyer who actually uses social media will update HR professionals on the legal issues affecting social media, and provide updated best practices to avoid the issues that an otherwise unprepared organization could face.

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Social Media in the Workplace

  1. 1. Title Goes Here Subtitle Goes Here Presenter’s Name Here Date Goes Here TLNT Webinar Social Media in the Workplace Presented by Eric B. Meyer, Esquire September 12, 2013
  2. 2. Give me social media or give me death!  One of every three college students and young employees believes the Internet is as important as air, water, food, and shelter.  Two of five said they would accept a lower- paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. * Cisco Connected World Technology Report
  3. 3. The internet is viral and it never forgets  “Delete” does not mean “delete”  Sender relinquishes control once a message is sent It’s hard to rewrite history or control spread of info
  4. 4. “Your password or this job!”  Requiring current and prospective employees to divulge social networking passwords  “Shoulder surfing”  Forced friending
  5. 5. Companies are using social media  For vetting job candidates  Nearly 3 out of 4 hiring managers and recruiters check candidates’ social profiles – 48% always do so, even if they are not provided  80% of respondents reacted positively to seeing memberships to professional organizations, while 2/3 like to see volunteering or donating to a nonprofit.  Content that recruiters especially frown on includes references to using illegal drugs (78% negative) and posts of a sexual nature (67% negative).  Profanity in posts and tweets garnered a 61% negative reaction, and almost half (47%) reacted negatively to posts about alcohol consumption.  Worse than drinking, grammar or spelling mistakes on social profiles saw a 54% negative reaction. •Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2012
  6. 6. Concerns about Employee Use of Social Media  Image  Morale  Productivity  IP  Confidentiality How will it impact the company?
  7. 7. Real Life Examples and Horror Stories
  8. 8. Real Life Examples and Horror Stories
  9. 9. Benefits of Employee Use of Social Media  Well-treated employees will return the favor  Constructive feedback  Employee recognition  Productivity
  10. 10. Addressing Employee Use of Social Media
  11. 11. Why do you need another policy?  Less than half of employers have them, so why do you need one?  To educate  To set the tone  To manage expectations  To protect the company
  12. 12. Elements of a bad social-media policy  You Googled it  You used the one that a friend at another company sent you  It was last revised in 2012
  13. 13. Elements of a good social-media policy  Philosophy 101  Social Media 101  Guidelines  Rules
  14. 14. National Labor Relations Board  Employer policies should not be so sweeping that they prohibit the kinds of activity protected by federal labor law, such as the discussion of wages or working conditions among employees.  An employee’s comments on social media are generally not protected if they are mere gripes not made in relation to group activity among employees.
  15. 15. Off-duty conduct laws  17 states have enacted "tobacco only" statutes.  8 states protect the use of lawful products.  4 states offer statutory protection for employees who engage in lawful activities.
  16. 16. Search Home Profile Find Friends Account John Doe +1 Add as Friend Info _______________________________________________________ About Me Name: John Doe/The Wizard Job: Accountant/Conjurer Hobbies: Vietnam War Veteran alum activities Religion: Warlock What I love: Taking care of my partner through his many illnesses What I hate: Traveling while there is a Full Moon (can’t bring my knife on airplane travel); Managers making me work on Halloween Biggest Accomplishment: Staying active while receiving weekly dialysis Most telling feature: My strong Bolivian accent
  17. 17. Is social media ever really off-the- clock?  What employees say and do online off-the- clock can still impact the workplace  Espinoza v. County of Orange
  18. 18. Ten Social Media Guidelines 1. Exercise good judgment and common sense. 2. Complain if you must, but otherwise be respectful 3. Follow the terms and conditions of any social media sites and software that you utilize 4. Identify yourself when posting in order to lend credibility to your online contributions. 5. Be authentic.
  19. 19. Ten Social Media Guidelines 6. Adjust your privacy settings 7. Remember that your social networking activities may create a perception about your employer 8. You are responsible for everything that you write or present online. So be accountable. 9. Don’t let social networking activities interfere with your other responsibilities and duties. 10. Consider using company established channels for job-specific issues.
  20. 20. Rule #1 – Don’t Be Mean (unless permitted by the NLRA)  Do not "post or display comments about coworkers or supervisors or the company that are vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating, harassing, o r a violation of the company’s workplace policies against discrimination, harassment, or hostility on account of age, race, religion, sex, ethnicity, nationality, disability, or other protected class, status, or characteristic."
  21. 21. Do not represent that your employer endorses any of your communications or personal opinions Do not use your employer to promote any opinion, belief, product, cause or political candidate. Get permission before giving recommendations of co- workers on social media sites When necessary or appropriate, include the statement: “This is my personal opinion and not that of _________________.” Rule #2 – Do not speak for the boss
  22. 22.  Do not ask co-workers/subordinates for their passwords  Respect the privacy of customers, vendors and co-workers  Do not disclose any of your employer’s protected intellectual property or confidential or proprietary information. Rule #3 – Loose Lips Sink Ships
  23. 23. Do not use any logos, marks or images in any manner that would violate copyright, trademark or fair use laws. Rule #4 – You don’t have the ©,®, or TM
  24. 24. Rule #5 - Follow ALL rules If you engage in social networking, you must follow, and act consistent with, the rules and your conduct and communications may not conflict with any of the rules, whether related to harassment, confidentiality, intellectual property, computer use, or otherwise.
  25. 25. Your Employer May Be Watching  Most companies have a policy that allows them to monitor employee use of its computer systems, including online access of personal social media
  26. 26. You may be disciplined  Be consistent in discipline based on information learned about social networking activities  Look out for “protected concerted activity” 1. Was the activity for mutual aid or benefit? 2. Was the activity of a protected nature?
  27. 27. It doesn’t end there  Train your workforce on the policy  Periodically review the policy with a lawyer to ensure that it is still good and with a social-media- savvy employee to ensure that it is up-to-date
  28. 28. Questions?
  29. 29. Telephone: 215-575-7283 Email: Blog: Twitter: @Eric_B_Meyer That’s me Not me! Here’s my contact information again