The average internet user has at least 8 social media accounts. Due to this trend, employers are increasingly utilizing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to screen for prospective hires and to also keep tabs on current employees. Does social media impact employment law?
What does the increased use of social media mean for employees?
The three most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2022 according to Statista are Facebook, YouTube, and WhatsApp. Personal posts have the potential to be detrimental to your career if the content does not reflect the values of the employer and in any way could create negative perceptions of the company. If you search the internet, there are seemingly countless stories of people that have lost their jobs over posts made on their personal social media accounts, or behavior documented on social media. Many of those in the stories did not think it would be a problem because they were posted in a joking manner or because the number of followers on the account where minimal. Bottom line, it is crucial to be conscious of your social media activity, including both posts and engagements. It is also important to be aware of your employer’s social media and technology policy, including using your company email account for personal emails.
What does this mean for employers?
The flip side to this impact of social media in the workplace is that it can be used against employers when investigating civil rights violations and discrimination claims. Social media, including email, may provide evidence that supports a claim of unlawful discrimination and can be used against the employer should a lawsuit occur. In the alternative, employers could also use an employee’s social media posts as evidence disputing the employee’s claims.
Have questions about social media and employment law?
The Cochran firm New York’s employment discrimination lawyers are committed to getting you the money you deserve and holding your employer accountable for any wrongdoing that has caused you to suffer. If you think you may have a claim against a former or current employer, contact us today for a free consultation.