Monday, August 21, 2017

A deep dive on social media, employee privacy, and the workplace

When history closes its book on 21st century America, Charlottesville may go down as one of its most significant chapters. If justice has any place in our world, it will prove to be a turning point on race relations in our nation. Or at least that is my hope. In the wake of this tragedy, journalists have spilled, and will continue to spill, a lot of ink.

One of the favorite articles I read in the past week was, Can an employee be fired for activities outside the workplace?, by Kathryn Moody at (and not just because the article is an interview with me; thanks to Kathryn for the interview). 

It is a deep dive on the intersection of social media, employee privacy, free speech, and an employer's right to discipline or terminate for that speech, and a read worthy of your time.

My favorite passage:
HR Dive: Has this rise of social media changed company policy at all? Or has it just made explicit what was kind of unspoken? 
Hyman: I don't think it's changed company policy. It’s just given employers so much more access to information about their employees' behaviors. … 
The workplace essentially now has extended beyond the walls of the workplace. I see it as no different than if a group of employees goes out for happy hour after work and a male employee gets handsy with a female employee and grabs her inappropriately. If the female employee goes to HR or a supervisor sees it and does nothing, the company’s got issues. 
HR has an obligation to employees that work together, whether it is a work event or not, or within the workplace or out. Social media has just broken those walls down further and maybe brought the outside world further into the workplace.