O'Connor & Schmidt (2013) Facebook fired: How do i avoid being fired or screened out?


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Presentation given to Lunch with Leaders at IPFW September 18th, 2013

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  • O'Connor & Schmidt (2013) Facebook fired: How do i avoid being fired or screened out?

    1. 1. FACEBOOK FIRED: HOW DO I AVOID BEING FIRED OR SCREENED OUT? Kimberly O’Connor, J.D., Assistant Professor of OLS Gordon Schmidt, PhD., Assistant Professor of OLS 09/18/2013
    2. 2. Social Media • Sites that allow you to share user generated content with others • How many of you have a Facebook account? • How many of you use it daily? • How many of you are using it right now? • What other sites do you use?
    3. 3. What you share on Facebook • How many of you use the privacy settings built in to Facebook? • How do you restrict access? • Our friends have a big impact – Research by Burke et al. (2009) found that the first two weeks on a site are crucial for your privacy behavior – In that period people look to friends’ behavior to determine what is appropriate
    4. 4. Social Media and Work • Do you think your employer should be able to look at your social media posts? • Do You think that First Amendment Freedom of Speech protects all forms of speech, including what is posted on-line? • Social Media usage can have impact on people’s jobs. • A number of firings and disciplining of workers based on worker’s posts • Example: Video: Is a “Like” Protected Speech?
    5. 5. Employee Classifications • At – Will - An employee whose employment is for an indefinite duration and can be hired or fired at the employer’s discretion. • Union – A worker whose wages, hours, and working conditions are negotiated through a collective bargaining agreement. • Public Employees – A person who is employed in the public sector and whose work is controlled by governmental bodies, whether at the federal, state, or local level.
    6. 6. Public Employees and Free Speech • The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no law….abridging the freedom of speech. • For Public Employees First Amendment rights exist for matters of “Public Concern” only.
    7. 7. Payne v. Barrow County School District: (2009). • Georgia High School English Teacher, Ashley Payne, posted pictures of her summertime European vacation on her Facebook page. She also posted a status update with the word “BIT_ _ES.” • Payne had her privacy settings set to “Private.” She had no students as FB “Friends.” • A Parent complained. The school corporation gave her the ultimatum, resign or be fired. Payne resigned and then filed suit. • GA court held that her contract was up by the time she had her day in court. Case was moot. • Do you think this outcome was fair?
    8. 8. National Labor Relations Act – “NLRA.” Section 7 of the NLRA gives employees the right to engage in “concerted activities” for their “mutual aid and protection.” “Protected Concerted Activity” includes two or more employees acting together to address a collective employee concern about work terms or conditions. Employers cannot take action to restrain such activity.
    9. 9. • BMW Dealership held a sales event to introduce a new BMW design. • A salesman posted negative comments, along with pictures of the event. • Also, the salesman posted pictures and comments about an accident at a Land Rover dealership also owned by the BMW Dealership. • The Salesman was discharged for violation of the Dealership’s Courtesy Rule. • NLRB held that the Land Rover posts were not “protected concerted activity” and by themselves enough to affirm the termination. • NLRB ordered employer to rescind or modify the language of the Courtesy Rule. • Karl Knauz Motors, Inc., 358 NLRB No. 164 (Sep. 28, 2012).
    10. 10. Design Technology Group, LLC, 359 NLRB No. 96 (April 19, 2013). • Three employees complained about their Supervisor on Facebook. • Supervisor was informed of posts by another employee who also gave the supervisor access. Employees terminated. • NLRB held that the employees comments were “protected concerted activity.”
    11. 11. Posted negative comments about teen pregnancy on a public blog. A complete stranger (1,200 miles away) copied her comments and sent them to the employer she listed on her FB page. Ulrich was fired.
    12. 12. Social Media and College Students • Student Teacher Stacy Snyder was in her last semester of college at Millersville University in PA. • She was assigned to student teach High School English. She was warned not to share social media with her students. • Snyder had a MySpace page and told her students about it. They accessed the page and found pictures like her “Drunken Pirate” picture. • Millersville refused to give her a degree in Education. She instead received a degree in English.
    13. 13. Selection: Who Is Potentially Screening You? • 45% to 91% of organizations look at applicant social networking sites for screening purposes • 23% of universities are doing so as well • Some research even suggests this might be useful- Kleumper et al (2009) estimated applicants personality characteristics through social media profile and they were found to relate to actual performance on the job
    14. 14. Selection Challenges • Great amount of potential information available to recruiters through social media • But is it accurate? Is it legal? • Example: definition of binge drinking • If A Facebook picture shows you and these 5 bottles at a party, how much did you drink?
    15. 15. • Understand What Type of Employee You Are and What Laws May or May Not Apply. 1 • Know YourEmployer’s Social Media Policy and Follow It! 2 • Set Your Privacy Settings Be Cautious About What You Post, Even On Blogs and Other’s Pages. 3 What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?