social media policy and guidelines

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SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Curt Montague Learning Technology Specialist, Butzel Long Social Media Strategist, Michigan Diversity Council Scott Patterson Labor and Employment Attorney, Butzel Long

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Post on 24-May-2015




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This presentation gives an overview of Social Media and some guidelines to help create a social media policy.


  • 1. SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Curt Montague Learning Technology Specialist, Butzel Long Social Media Strategist, Michigan Diversity Council Scott Patterson Labor and Employment Attorney, Butzel Long

2. TOPICS What is Social Media? Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Who uses Social Media? Social Media and the Workplace Potential issues/benefits Areas of Risk Current Practices Developing a Social Networking Policy 3. WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA? Social Media and Social Networking have become synonymous. Social Networking as defined on Wikipedia, is a social structure made of individuals (or organizations) called "nodes," which are tied (connected) by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, common interest, financial exchange, dislike, relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige. We define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2)articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site. A paper Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship by Danah M. Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison 4. FACEBOOK Create a personal profile add other users as friends and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile Social Games Groups Like Privacy 5. TWITTER 140 Hashtag (#humanresources) Following Tweet DM RT @username Tweetup Shortened URLs 6. LINKEDIN Recruiting Networking Online Resume Twitter Blog Private Making Connections 7. HOW MANY PEOPLE REALLY USE SOCIAL MEDIA? Over 500,000,000 users Over 75,000,000 users Over 60,000,000 members Over 1 Billion Views per day 8. WHO IS ON SOCIAL MEDIA? 9. SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE WORKPLACE 10. POTENTIAL ISSUES Employee productivity Blending of work and personal lives Possibility for harassment and discrimination Too much information 11. POTENTIAL BENEFITS Marketing/business development Recruiting Hiring Investigatory tool Increased communication among employees 12. AREAS OF RISK Hiring process Use as a tool for harassment Discrimination claims Retaliation claims 13. USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING IN THE HIRING PROCESS The internet and social networking sites can be a valuable source of information It can also be a minefield of potential problems You may use it, but be careful 14. USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING IN THE HIRING PROCESS How accurate is the information? Do you even have the right person? Much on social networking sites may not be what it appears Exposure to information Medical and health information Disability status Genetic information Religion Other lifestyle information 15. USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING IN THE HIRING PROCESS Most employers have hiring practices which try to avoid coming into possession of this type of information prior to making a hiring decision. Once the employer starts reviewing social networking sites, many of those protections can be lost. It is not per se prohibited to review public social networking sites as part of the hiring process; however, employers must be aware of the risks and weigh them against the benefits. 16. USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING IN THE HIRING PROCESS Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) Prohibits employers from intentionally acquiring genetic information regarding employees Social Networking sites can have a wealth of such information: Content of postings Family history Group memberships EEOC has proposed exception for publicly available information 17. USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING IN THE HIRING PROCESS Fair Credit Reporting Act defines a consumer credit report as any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumers creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living. The FCRA Requires That Employers: provide applicants with written notification that a consumer credit report may be used; and obtain the applicants written authorization before requesting a report. Investigation of online activity may be covered 18. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Monitoring internet use at work Employers have right to control and monitor employee internet use in the workplace No expectation of privacy There still are potential issues Employer could be exposed to information regarding protected status Information gathered could be misused 19. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Privacy Issues Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, 18 U.S.C. 2511 et seq. Permits monitoring of oral and electronic communications as long as you can show legitimate business purposes. The Stored Communication Act, 18 U.S.C. 2701 et seq. Requires authorization from authorized user who has personal access to the site This means you cannot access password protected information without permission 20. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Invasion of Privacy Most states, including Michigan, recognize a right to privacy relating to, among other things, a persons seclusion, solitude, or private affairs. The employee must show that: there is an intrusion into a matter about which he or she had a right of privacy by a means or method that is objectionable to a reasonable person. 21. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Public postings are generally not considered private But, what is public? Not everything on the internet is public Some courts have held that if an internet posting has some access limit it may be considered private. Examples: Surreptitiously friending an employee to gain access to their site Using monitoring software to capture login information 22. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Social Networking and Union Activities Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the right to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection. Section 8 of the NLRA makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights. 23. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK The mere act of monitoring employees concerted activities may be enough to give rise to a Section 7 charge Employers need to be extremely careful in viewing employees social networking sites, blogs, internet postings, etc. if they are unionized or as part of responding to union organizing activities 24. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Off-duty conduct Generally, off-duty conduct is not protected Legal exceptions: Protected activities or associations Public employees constitutional rights Some states protect off-duty conduct Practical limits Nexus with the employees job duties Employees place in the organization 25. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Unionized employees and off-duty conduct labor arbitrators take a very dim view of discipline for off-duty misconduct In a union setting, the conduct must be very bad and have a very strong nexus to the employees job duties to support discipline or discharge 26. SOCIAL MEDIA AT WORK Other Issues Company spokesman appearance FTC regulation of endorsements and testimonial in advertising Supervisors recommending employees or otherwise saying nice things you may regret later Release of confidential information Not always intentional or even obvious Competitive intelligence 27. WHATS HAPPENING OUT THERE? Misuses of social media by employees Wasting time at work Sexual harassment Interfacing with employees, customers or clients in an inappropriate manner Posting trade secrets or information the company would like to keep confidential 28. WHATS HAPPENING OUT THERE? Uses of social media by employers Increasing number of employers looking at the online presence of applicants Not many claims or issues (yet) Increasing adoption of social networking policies Problem areas Supervisors being too friendly with subordinates Sexual harassment by supervisors and coworkers Increasing view of Social Networking as a valuable tool rather than just a curse 29. DEVELOPING A SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY What do you want to accomplish? Ban all use at work Allow some or all employees some personal use at work Incorporate social networking into company marketing plans Even if you ban use at work, social networking will inevitably come into the workplace so you still need a policy 30. YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY Communicate to employees what use at work is acceptable. Reminder that all the other company rules still apply. Guidelines on appropriate use of social networking when interacting with fellow employees. Guidelines for interactions with third parties. Warning about harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate behavior on social networking sites. Guidelines for use of social networking to advance company business interests (if applicable). Warning regarding inadvertent or intentional disclosure of confidential business information. 31. YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKING POLICY No one size fits all policy Every business is different You need to identify what you need and want Be aware of the risks Dont be so scared you miss out on benefits 32. RESOURCES Sample Social Media Policies: ions/social-media-policies/ social-media-staff-guidelines/ Twitter Terminology: 33. QUESTIONS?