Saturday, February 2, 2013

Employers and Personal Social Media Use Reexamined

With social media accepted as such a normal practice in the lives of not only us PR people, but also throughout the general population,  many employers have now implemented legal contracts that forbid you from posting certain thoughts on social media. Many of the guidelines center on ideas of not portraying the company in a negative light or posting about work-related issues.  Seems fair right? Not anymore. 

According to a National Relations Labor Board ruling last week, current guidelines in place are just too broad. These recent rulings have declared workers have the right to free speech on the internet without any fear of retribution for their opinions. This news changes how many of us have viewed what is the proper etiquette when you work for a company, and while this etiquette still stands as best practice, those who choose to use social media to vent now can do so freely. This ruling shows how many of our older rights will translate into this ever-evolving world. 

Even with this ruling, it is probably not the best practice to start venting about your boss through social media, which may cause an undesirable work atmosphere, but it is important to know what is legal expected of you within your duties as an employee. It may be best to look over your current employer’s guidelines (if they have them) to make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of or wrongly informed in regards to your personal social media use. 

What do you think about the relationship between personal social media use and your work life? Do you agree your employer cannot dictate what you post about them?

This guest blog post was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Jessica Ross.

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