Social Media and the Employer

There is nothing startingly, or even really new, in this Q & A from the Birmingham Business Journal, What impact do you think the proliferation of online social media will have on human resource policies and employment law issues?. Although I must say it is going to be a brave employer who follows this advice, no matter how legally correct it is:

Employers must have a written policy against using recreational social media at work. It is a distraction, and the employee’s comments could incur liability for the employer based on defamation or laws prohibiting discrimination.

Just as a practical matter, if you are not going to follow it, it is probably better not to have a policy; and I doubt many companies can enforce such a policy these days.

But what really got my attention is just how much ink (well pixels really) this whole issue is attracting these days. I am a contributor, having given a couple of speeches, including national on-line programs for the ABA and other entities, and am scheduled for some more, but what this really makes me think is how much of a herd mentality we all have.

Probably the best comment came from a member of the audience at one of my speeches. He questioned why this was a continual topic, when there was never any law!

That may change, but as of now, there’s lots more talk about the impact of social media on employment law, than there is either actual impact OR law.

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