Social media is part of most Americans’ lives. Whether you are a light social media user or you spend multiple hours on multiple platforms each day, social media plays a role in your life.
Depending on your company’s social media use policy and the content you post, your company could have the right to fire you for the content you share on your personal social media profile. However, employers and employees must tread carefully in this area. When a company enforces its social media policy disproportionately among employees, it could be committing an act of discrimination.
Avoid facing criticism and potentially jeopardizing your position by keeping your work life and your social media presence as separate as possible. Use the following guidelines to stay safe and smart with social media.
Using Social Media While you are Looking for a Job
If you are on the hunt for a new job, clean up your social media presence. Untag any photos of you drinking or engaging in any other activities that can potentially be construed as controversial, no matter how seemingly harmless they are for you. For example, remove images of yourself gambling in a casino or if you are a medical marijuana patient, remove any references to your status as such.
Do not advertise that you are looking for a job on your social media profiles. Even if you have strong privacy settings in place, your employer can find out that you are looking for work. In some cases, this can lead to unfair treatment or premature termination by your current employer.
Personal Social Media while you are Employed
Read your company’s employee handbook carefully to fully understand its social media policy. Some companies have lax or nonexistent policies while others are quite strict about how employees may and may not use personal social media profiles. An employer may prohibit an employee from posting confidential information about the company or it might prohibit discussions about specific clients or products.
As an employee, keep your opinions about your workplace off your personal social media profiles. This includes any disagreements with colleagues, criticisms of how the company is being run, and even discussions about your long-term career plans. Remove any images or text that expresses controversial opinions or those that could be deemed offensive. Do not link your personal social media accounts to your company’s social media accounts.
Work with One of New Jersey and New York’s Premier Employment Law Firms
If you faced discrimination or were wrongfully terminated and you think it was because of your use of social media, discuss your case in detail with an experienced New Jersey discrimination lawyer to determine the most effective legal route to take to pursue compensation for your damages. Contact the Sattiraju & Tharney, LLP today to set up your initial consultation with us. We are one of New Jersey and New York’s premier employment law firms and can draw upon our extensive experience to provide the legal aid you need.