Socially Acceptable? Remember the Online World and the Work World May Overlap through Social Media


As when you are about to post an unflattering comment to your friends on your preferred social networking site. Such behavior in person in real time would bring down the swift (and statistically right-handed) smack of correction.

The way we communicate today — both favorably and unfavorably— increasingly occurs online. Public, permanent and normally one dimensional, a single post or comment can lift up or destroy reputations in a matter of a few keystrokes. The headlines noting social media misuse — including bullying, false postings and harassment contributing to serious angst and, in some extreme cases, to suicide — raise our collective concern.

So, as an employer, if you want to address the potential risks and ensure your employees are engaging in socially appropriate behavior online both at work and off-duty, what are the rules that apply?

Since the use of social media is a relatively new phenomenon, and since the applicable rules are still being developed, we offer a few suggestions to provide some guidance to both employers and employees.

If you are an employer...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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