Top Ten Tips Disclaimer
While ABC Company encourages its employees to enjoy and make good use of their off-duty time, certain activities on the part of employees may become a concern if they have the effect of impairing the work of any employee; harassing, demeaning, or creating a hostile working environment for any employee; disrupting the smooth and orderly flow of work within the office; or harming the goodwill and reputation of the company among its customers or in the community at large. In the area of social media (print, broadcast, digital, and online services such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Plaxo, and Twitter, among others), employees may use such media in any way they choose as long as such use does not produce the adverse consequences noted above. For this reason, ABC Company reminds its employees that the following guidelines apply in their use of social media, both on and off duty:
If an employee publishes any personal information about the employee, another employee of the organization, the company, a client, or a customer in any public medium (print, broadcast, digital, or online) that:
has the potential or effect of involving the employee, their coworkers, or the company in any kind of dispute or conflict with other employees or third parties;
interferes with the work of any employee;
creates a harassing, demeaning, or hostile working environment for any employee;
disrupts the smooth and orderly flow of work within the office, or the delivery of services to the company's clients or customers;
harms the goodwill and reputation of the company among its customers or in the community at large; or
tends to place in doubt the reliability, trustworthiness, or sound judgment of the person who is the subject of the information,
the employee(s) responsible for such problems will be subject to counseling and/or disciplinary action, up to and potentially including termination of employment, depending upon the severity and repeat nature of the offense.
No employee may use company equipment or facilities for furtherance of non-work-related activities or relationships without the express advance permission of [designated member of management].
Employees who conduct themselves in such a way that their actions toward and relationships with each other interfere with or damage work relationships, disrupt the flow of work or customer relations, or cause unfavorable publicity in the community, should be concerned that their conduct may be inconsistent with one or more of the above guidelines. In such a situation, the employees involved should request guidance from [designated member of management] to discuss the possibility of a resolution that would avoid such problems. Depending upon the circumstances, failure to seek such guidance may be considered evidence of intent to conceal a violation of the policy and to hinder an investigation into the matter.
Use of social media that involves any kind of criminal activity or harms the rights of others may result in criminal prosecution or civil liability to those harmed, or both.
Social media access and use involving company equipment and resources are subject to ABC Company's "Internet, E-Mail, and Computer Usage Policy" at all times.
How an employee uses social media is not a matter of concern as long as it is consistent with the above guidelines. Employees may address any questions on this policy to [designated member of management].
For more information, see "Social Media Issues" in the outline of employment law issues in Part II of this book.
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