EMPLOYEE SOCIAL MEDIA USE: HOW EMPLOYERS SHOULD (AND SHOULD NOT) ADDRESS IT

Social media does many things. It allows us to keep in touch with friends, stay on top of political and celebrity news, take surveys to discover which “Game of Thrones” character we’re most like, and watch funny cat videos. It also allows an individual employee’s controversial opinions or comments on current events to reach a widespread audience, which can cause serious headaches for employers.

We’ve seen employers terminate employees for their social media activities.  CBS fired of one of its top attorneys for her Facebook comment on the mass shooting in Las Vegas tragedy.  Some employers merely suspend the employee, as was the case with an ESPN anchor when she took to Twitter in opposition to an NFL owner. What these cases have in common is the potential for an employee’s use of social media to have a significant impact on an employer’s financial health. To what extent can—or should—employers be monitoring social media use, and what action does an employer have to take?

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