Should You Have a Social Networking Policy?
Posted on Sep 15, 2009 on Tips of the Month by
Last month’s Tip of the Month focused on the importance of protecting workplace computers. Now let’s venture to the Internet. With more Americans writing, commenting, and posting pictures and videos about their lives (including their work lives) on Internet sites such as Facebook and MySpace, employers need to be aware of the impact such activities can have on the workplace and business in general. For example, employees may use these online forums to engage in sexual harassment, disclose confidential company or employee information, and make defamatory or other damaging statements about the company, its customers, owners, employees, products or services. On the other hand, employees can use online forums as valuable marketing tools. When deciding if you need a policy covering employees and the Internet, i.e., a social networking policy, consider the answers to the following questions:
- Does your business require employees to access and maintain key confidential information?
- Does your company rely on wide spread brand recognition?
- Does your company rely on presenting a certain image?
- Do your employees interact directly with clients/customers?
- Is your workforce web savvy?
- Is your customer/client base web savvy?
- Does new business come from developing personal relationships with prospective clients?
Brody and Associates has developed a social networking policy that can be tailored to the needs of each specific workplace. For assistance with a social networking policy that’s right for your workplace, or for help with all other employment-related issues, please contact one of our attorneys.