The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD as something that has or can have both favorable and unfavorable consequences. If used without care, social media could offer very similar results for individuals and businesses alike. A case in point would be the story of how a family lost every penny of the $80000 won by the father in a confidential legal settlement. The father shared the news with his daughter, and she posted a gloating reference to it on Facebook, and broke the confidentiality clause. For the full story, click here.
Using social media, it is far easier to connect with people, share things of interest (to you). Unfortunately, when sharing personal information, likes and dislikes, hobbies and pet peeves the ‘bonding’ could turn into ‘harassment’ at the workplace.
The EEOC has decided to enlighten employers, employees and applicants of the pervasive nature of social media and the threat it poses to the EEOC’s mission to stop discriminatory practices in the workplace. If you wish to report any particular issues at the workplace which require further regulations to the use of social media, do email them to the EEOC: email@example.com. Your views and experiences could impact forthcoming policy.
Before doing so, take a look at what the EEOC prescribes:
Appropriate use of Social Media in the Workplace:
Risk-prone Employer use of Social Media in the Workplace:
Employers can and should adapt their current workplace policies to address these issues and train their employees on the pitfalls of using social media for work-related purposes.
Surely, this is an evolving area of law which will continue to see changes. Regulations are unclear and subject to interpretation. The best guidance at this point is to be specific. In restricting what should be posted, follow Wal-Mart’s approach and state that you are restricting discriminatory remarks, harassment and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct. Be consistent. Educate your recruiters on what candidate information can be gleaned from social sites, when a candidate’s public social sites can be reviewed (preferably after the candidate has been interviewed and is a finalist), and the type of information that is cause for eliminating a candidate. Regulations generally follow common sense rules: if it is prohibited in traditional settings (e.g., workers in a brick and mortar setting, recruiters using traditional sourcing techniques) then it should not be allowed using social media. Finally, when unsure seek advice from a reputable employment attorney or check with the EEOC.
Mail (will not be published) (required)
six − = 4
Thanks for Subscribing to DCR Blog.