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Old 01-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

Happened here just a couple of weeks ago, it seems like this whole thing is becoming a major shitstorm where I work.

I'm a manager for a call compliance center at a local bank. I've been with this company almost 12 years and enjoy my work, as well as the people I work with. Within the last few months this VP has come in and is rattling cages, don't know if he's looking for something but I pretty much tend to do my thing. However, he gets annoyed at the fact I think for myself and don't always agree with him.

Friend of mine was leaving the company, wanted me to go out with them for a few drinks before he and the Mrs. moved to California for a new job of hers. So, my wife and I were out that Saturday night for dinner and stop by the bar/nightclub for a couple beers. Lot of people I work with are there. During the night, my friend tells me one of the girls that works with us is really scared and needs to talk to me at work. She happens to be there, and I tell her that on Monday to see me in my office.

So, on Monday she comes up with her supervisor, and lays her story out. Apparently, she makes comments about work and other shit (like most that have it do) on her Facebook page. One comment is that the new VP is apparently creepy and has supposedly hit on a couple of her girlfriends. Apparently, they also saw him one night at local gentlemen's club when she was with a bachelorette party and he was really freaking a lot of people out, even the dancers. The VP doesn't like what she is saying and thus is wanting us to discipline her for putting comments about work on Facebook.

I tell her that I am not doing anything and if the VP has a problem with it that I will deal with it. I know that companies are having these regulations about employees talking trash about work on FB and Twitter, but there is none where I work and as far as I'm concerned, it's their business what they put on their page when not at work. As I've stated here before, my personal rights (and the rights of others) are never up for negotiation as far as I'm concerned, period. I will never sacrifice my rights, nor do I expect others to.

The VP apparently comes to see me and has a huge shit fit that I won't discipline her. I advise him that's her business what she puts on her FB and Twitter and it's more of a concern that you act like you do when at the strip club and talking about your job here than her little comments on FB. He then says, "She said on her page you were boring. because you don't go out with the co-workers." I told him I don't because I don't party all hours of the night and they are my workers. I am their manager, not their friend. He stormed out.

Now, I'm hearing rumblings from my boss about the whole situation. Apparently, this VP wants my head because I won't bow and kiss his ring. I've put in almost 12 years with this company, but I can find another job tomorrow with my contacts. I know of at least three jobs I can get tomorrow by knowing the right people. I'm not looking for a fight, but will take one if it comes along.

So, what do you think? Does your employer have the right to view your FB and Twitter for stuff about work? I say no.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

I've definitely heard stories of employees being fired because of provocative images and "poor conduct" in general on social networking sites. I personally think it's outrageous for employers to regularly view their employees' personal accounts. This has yet to happen to me, but the most I can do is to be cautious about what I put on my Facebook.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your absolutely right in this situation and I applaud you for putting your foot down when you did. The VP is obviously a douche and wants to abuse his power because people are calling him out on it.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

I work for a football club and we were told to be careful about what we put on social media sites.

It doesn't affect me much but I can understand why companies do have policies like that.

Fair play to you though for standing up against your tyrannical boss. You are officially the "Stone Cold" Steve Austin of the forum.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

Check your contract, check your employees' contract, go through them with a fine tooth comb, and if there's nothing about social networking then the VP doesn't have a leg to stand on. Keep a record of everything he says/does with regards to this particular situation though, in case he finds another reason to get you out, then you can show that the real reason was an illegitimate one and bang his buns bright blue in court.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

They have as much right as anyone else does. But this is why there are privacy settings on Facebook anyways. I don't think you should make comments (insulting comments) about the company in general or the main boss (CEO if you have it). That's about it though.

I've heard some companies even require employees to give their password so that they can check on the information on their facebook. That's just humorous to me.

Only times you shouldn't be allowed to post information about your company is if they have something secretive they don't want leaked. When I was in the Navy and working overseas we were specifically told not to comment about anything that went on in the "top secret" building. A few people did however and eventually a good friend of mine was court martialed. That' should be the only exception.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

Facebook and twitter are in the public sphere, so saying negative things work related on them is just as bad as saying it in person an being over-heard. It's like we're all told a children, if you don't have anything nice to say, the don't say anything at all. If this girl has been stupid enough to say negative things about a colleague online then it's her own fault isn't it, if she gets punished because of it.

A lot of people will be overly protective and say that what goes online is private but let's be honest, nobody posts stuff on social media sites that they want to keep private, they post things which they want to share with others.

This is what private messaging is for.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

Is it a government job? If no, then there is no reasonable expectation to privacy and there is no first amendment protection.

It's simple and most grown ass adults don't understand it: Don't write/post incriminating shit on Facebook. Most people don't comprehend that posting something on Facebook is like posting something on a giant bulletin board you would see in the hallways on a college campus. You post it, it's out there.

If this a hill you are willing to die on, OP? If so, do what you gotta do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anark View Post
Check your contract, check your employees' contract, go through them with a fine tooth comb, and if there's nothing about social networking then the VP doesn't have a leg to stand on. Keep a record of everything he says/does with regards to this particular situation though, in case he finds another reason to get you out, then you can show that the real reason was an illegitimate one and bang his buns bright blue in court.
Yeah.... no, she would lose in court.

There is probably nothing in regards to Facebook in their contract, however there most likely is something in there about harassment/disparaging a co-worker etc etc. Making disparaging remarks about the VP (IE calling him creepy etc etc etc) falls under that and that is what will get her in trouble.

Potentially getting fired for harassing the VP is not exactly wrongful termination.

Last edited by el dandy : 01-19-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

she should have put privacy settings on her facebook so that only her friends could see what she is writing. That way the vp would not have seen what she wrote about him.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Employers Looking At Facebook...My Story

Goes to show we shouldn't share everything we think/want/know.
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