Getting Fired Over Facebook
Mashable reports on the latest findings from Proofpoint that suggests 8% of US firms with 1,000 employees or more have dismissed staff for their use of social sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. They also include a screen capture from Facebook currently doing the rounds on the Internet whereby a girl comments about her poor job and perverted boss without realizing she’d ‘friended’ her boss who replies and fires her. It must be a UK related posting as he mentions P45 which is the UK version of the ‘pink slip’.
However, it would be interesting for an employer to sack somebody over Facebook and make it stick.
At the end of the day, somebody posting messages to Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean it was that person. Their computer or account could have been hacked. It could also be a friend or co-worker. Even narrowing the conversation down to an internal IP address or via the proxy server only gets you to an account, not the person pressing the keys.
At best, the employer would have to give the rogue employee the benefit of the doubt. I think all companies should have conduct policies for their staff that says they won’t post malicious or defamatory statements about their companies at any time. We all know that Google has a long memory so it would be prudent for any organization to proactively manage it’s brand by monitoring hits on its trademarks, name or other intellectual property.
Addressing concerns directly or indirectly but also reminding employees that bad-mouthing the hand that feeds it is unacceptable, in the real or virtual world. Employees, particularly those that are socially active, need to watch what they say, companies are not so stupid these days.