It should be no surprise that your employees post on social media or even blog throughout the day ─ maybe even on company time or equipment. And while they may not post on the clock, it’s unlikely that after hours they think their social media or blog posts could have consequences at work.
While employers or company policies shouldn’t infringe on First Amendment or National Labor Relations Act rights, companies can protect themselves against disparaging remarks and leaked sensitive information.
You probably don’t want to come off like you’re trying to control your employees’ social media, but you should be proactive and set up a policy detailing company confidentiality and online posting. Keep in mind your policy shouldn’t overshadow the personal rights of your employees, but here are a few topics you may want to cover:
- Company resources & time: You’ll want to provide guidance to employees about using a company laptop or computer and network to write or publish personal content during business hours.
- Company branding: You may also want to limit the use of logos or other brand-related items to ensure false statements aren’t made on the company’s behalf. Some companies may even choose to have employees identify themselves as a company employee and add a statement clearly saying the views they share online are their own and not the company’s.
- Company policies: Remind your staff that certain policies, like prohibiting harassment or sharing company secrets, still apply when the employee makes statements or posts online.
To read more about employee rights and posting online, check out the National Labor Relations Board.