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Monitoring Employee’s Personal (My)Space: Savvy or Stupid?

Sep 3, 2009 | Blog, Monitoring Employees

With the explosion of social networking sites, it is easier than ever to connect with family and friends. Whether posted on Facebook, MySpace or “tweeted”, access to personal photos, thoughts and comments are just a click away.

But how does that play out in the corporate world? Should employers have the right to use the information posted and viewed on these public sites as a cause for disciplinary action?

A recent case regarding that very question involved two employees from a Domino’s franchise in North Carolina. These two fame-seekers posted a video on YouTube that showed them doing less than palatable things to customers’ pizzas. What were the reviews? These two wannabe film makers are now facing felony and civil charges.

But what about the employer who gained access to two employees’ private MySpace pages and read unfavorable comments about the company. The two employees were fired, sued the company for violating federal law and won back pay and punitive damages.

What’s the bottom line? Employers need to understand what is acceptable in regards to monitoring employees’ and the risk associated with using information gained on social networking sites as a catalyst for disciplinary action. Having a solid policy in place will help guide your company’s managers and protect your organization from possible legal action. Contact us for assistance in updating your employment policies.

Submitted by: Dawn Karrer, PHR; Human Resources Consultant, IntegrityHR, Inc.