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Employers’ Ongoing Challenge: Managing Employees’ Social Media Use

By: Francine Esposito

Submitted by Firm:
Day Pitney LLP
Firm Contacts:
Francine Esposito, Glenn W. Dowd, Patrick J. McCarthy
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Social media is a powerful force that is here to stay. Government protests around the world have been organized through social media and corporate America has come to rely on the expansive low cost publicity social media provides. Facebook alone now boasts of more than a billion active users.[1] Whether employers know it or not, employees’ personal social media use is an unproductive distraction in the workplace—either through company computers that do not block access or through employees’ smart phones, and that is in addition to the significant time employees spend on social media off duty. Whenever and wherever employee social media use occurs, the consequences can be devastating to employers, including when employees publicly post embarrassing comments about them; disparage their competitors; unknowingly disclose or even purposefully attempt to steal their confidential information; threaten or harass others; or engage in other undesirable conduct that affects their image and reputation.

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[1] See Company Info, Facebook Newsroom, Facebook, newsroom.fb.com/companyinfo/ (last visited Oct. 3, 2014).