Social Media Policy – Part I
Is a complete ban on the use of Company property for personal reasons realistic?
Many employers have computer use policies that ban the use of company property for personal use.
In the age of smart phones, the virtual workplace, and the expectation that employees will be available outside “regular” working hours this kind of ban is not realistic.
So we suggest that every employer review its computer use policy to ensure that the policy is practical and is being consistently enforced.
What restrictions should an employer place on an employee’s social media activity?
A related but more pressing issue that employers are facing right now is how to deal with the world of social media. What restrictions should be placed on an employee’s postings on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and personal blogs?
Employers have started terminating employees for just cause because of social media content an employee has posted. In some cases, the termination has been upheld, and in at least one U.S. case the employee was reinstated.
To deal with this issue, many employers have introduced Social Media policies.
What should be contained in an Employer’s Social Media Policy?
Here are five issues to consider when preparing a Social Media Policy:
1. Is an employee permitted to use personal social media during working hours?
2. Is an employee permitted to use employer property to access social media sites?
3. Is an employee required to comply with employer policies when creating personal social media content?
4. Is an employee prohibited from posting items that could reflect negatively on the employer or otherwise embarrass the organization?
5. Is the employee prohibited from mentioning the name of any of the employer’s personnel without prior approval?
Social media is here to stay. And the lines between a person’s personal life and work life are increasing blurred. Reasonable people can disagree on permitted or appropriate employee social media discourse.
To avoid (or at least minimize) any such confusion employers can introduce social policies which clearly set out what is expected of employees as a condition of employment.
If you wish to discuss how to manage social media use by your employees, please contact us at [email protected] or 416 977-9894 at your convenience.
The material and information in this blog and this website are for general information only. They should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. The authors make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of any information referred to in this blog or its links. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found on this website or blog. Readers should obtain appropriate professional advice from a lawyer duly licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. These materials do not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and any of the authors or the MacLeod Law Firm.
Doug’s Top 5 Employment Law Stories of 2022
Here are my top 5 employment law stories for 2022: 1. COVID 19 - Temporary Layoffs This issue remains my number one story because this issue impacts so many court cases. Some judges have concluded that a temporary layoff set out in the Infectious Disease Emergency...
Reducing Litigation Risk
In a recent case, Pohl v. Hudson’s Bay Company, 2022 ONSC 5230 (CanLII),an employer was ordered to pay a long service employee the equivalent of about 3 years pay and contribute about $ 35 000 to his legal fees. Although this was a without cause termination case, it...
Employment Law Update: Electronic Monitoring Policy
A new amendment to the Employment Standards Act requires employers with 25 or more employees on January 1st of a given year to put in place a written policy regarding any electronic monitoring processes they use to monitor employees. The deadline for 2022 is October...