Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tweeting away your job

Before yesterday, former major league pitcher was likely most famous for giving up Barry Bonds 756th homer. This morning, he is perhaps more well known for the racially insensitive tweet that has cost him his sports radio hosting gig in Dallas.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Bacsik said he drunkenly tweeted, “Congrats to all the dirty mexicans in San Antonio” after watching the Spurs beat the Mavs on Sunday night. To his benefit, Bacsik at least realizes his mistake. He has removed the offensive tweet, and replaced it with the following apology on this Twitter account. download quotes Bacsik’s words of wisdom for all employees:

When you tweet like I did, you can’t see the sarcasm. It’s not a good joke. You can’t tell if it was pure hate or sarcasm. I never got to say anything. My tweets were talking for me. When you tweet like that, it’s not a playful, harmless thing. It’s not what it was meant to be.

A disciplined or terminated employee may not be as understanding or remorseful as Bacsik. So that employees understand your expectations about responsible social networking, it is best to have a policy. That policy should spell out to employees that what they post online is public, that anything in cyberspace can be used as grounds for discipline or termination, and that there are consequences for posting anything that negatively reflects on your business.

For more on drafting a social networking policy, see Drafting a social networking policy: 7 considerations.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or