Another update from the Jungle…..
Jayne accepted the first job offer after college because she was worried about making her student loan payments. She also wanted to prove to her parents that she could take care of herself. In hindsight, Jayne wondered if living at home was really so bad because her new employer is insane.
During the endless rounds of interviews employees gushed about the joys of working for the company and its founder, Wesley, but Jayne was an English minor in college and she can read subtext. She quickly picked up on the jokes about timed bathroom breaks and monitored phone calls.
One young woman sheepishly admitted that she was busted for her negative comments on her personal Facebook page. All the employees in that interview session laughed when Jayne said that she had heard that employees couldn’t be forced to provide access to their personal social media accounts to their employers. They assured Jayne that it was no big deal.
Jayne was young and desperate so she took the job despite feeling uncomfortable. At orientation, she was required to sign a confidentiality agreement that allows the company to search her personal belongings at any time to ensure that confidential information is not stolen.
Jayne’s discomfort zoomed into paranoia after she updated her LinkedIn profile with a description of her new job. The next day, Rhoda, the HR Director, told Jayne that she had violated the company’s social media policy which covers postings on LinkedIn.
The policy requires employees to include a statement that Wesley is a brilliant and inspiring boss and the employee is privileged to work for and learn from him. Rhoda also told Jayne to change her head shot because it didn’t show her as a happy, loyal employee. Jayne asked how she could show loyalty in a photograph. Rhoda shrugged. Jayne returned to her cubicle, a blob of raging paranoia.
What options are available to Jayne?
- She can stroll around the office humming the lyrics of a Buffalo Springfield song, “paranoia strikes deep/into your life it will creep”.
- She can embrace her paranoia and flit around the office in a Star Trek uniform talking to her co-workers about Klingons.
- She can hide in her cubicle pretending to work while she searches for a new job.
Most employers have social media policies setting parameters on what employees can post and reserving the right to monitor employees’ social media for violations of the policy. However, the more restrictive and intrusive these policies are the more likely that they will be found to have violated federal and state laws.
If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.
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