Discussions

Employee Social Media Policy

Posted by Angi Moore @angela_k_moore, Jun 20, 2019

Yesterday we had a concerned FB user that reached out to us regarding something one of our employees posted on her personal page. The reason this person contacted me was that this person tagged us as her employer, and felt she posted something hateful toward the LGBT community. We as a team felt it was inappropriate, but more a political statement than hate speech. Our concern is that if she tagged us as her employer, does this represent us in a bad light, and do we have the right to have input into employee's posted opinions? What is your policy around this? We are having a discussion around free speech vs. representing our brand. I would love to hear more about how you handle this. If you would be willing to share your employee policy, please send it to me at angi.moore@cassialife.org. Thank you!

In my previous position, we had a lot of free speech discussions. It's definitely a trend to "tattle tail" to their employer about things they've said on social media. What we would tell our faculty and staff is don't post anything that you wouldn't want the president/CEO/COO of your organization reading on social media.

A lot of folks also don't realize that nothing you post is private, especially older employees (see this article about an Alabama Mayor: https://www.advocate.com/politics/2019/6/04/alabama-mayor-calls-killing-lgbtq-people-facebook-post?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=politics&fbclid=IwAR1ZNjDmDoOrQLnaJUHEAuMXxdazCafyCprCnQlDid42cfOHzNJjnnyGEGA)

I'm in a similar position to some of you looking at what we have on the books for our organization based on some recent behavior I've seen. I only started in this position a little over a month ago and in orientation, they strongly urged folks not to put where they worked on any of their social media account bios. Of course, as a communications professional, that's important for me to network, but for many other hospital employees, it may not need to be there.

REPLY

My prior physician employment contract was quite broadly protective of the employer regarding actions which would embarrass my employer, and for physicians at least, state licensing requirements are also rather broad about professional conduct.

For physicians specifically, my advice is “ No politics, no religion.” The exception is if politics or religion is your mission and your employer is on board (for example you are a physician on a state medical association board, or you are a physician on a missionary trip).

Of note, anyone who decides to make strong political or religious statements (and is willing to accept the repercussions for themselves) should have the judgment and courtesy to inform their employer before the fact, so they to can prepare. This person likely showed poor judgment involving their employer, and whether they know it or not, I suspect their career at this organization may be over.

REPLY
@matthewrehrl

My prior physician employment contract was quite broadly protective of the employer regarding actions which would embarrass my employer, and for physicians at least, state licensing requirements are also rather broad about professional conduct.

For physicians specifically, my advice is “ No politics, no religion.” The exception is if politics or religion is your mission and your employer is on board (for example you are a physician on a state medical association board, or you are a physician on a missionary trip).

Of note, anyone who decides to make strong political or religious statements (and is willing to accept the repercussions for themselves) should have the judgment and courtesy to inform their employer before the fact, so they to can prepare. This person likely showed poor judgment involving their employer, and whether they know it or not, I suspect their career at this organization may be over.

Jump to this post

I whole-heartedly agree with a "no politics, no religion" policy unless it is a part of your organizational mission. It's really a recipe for disaster.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.