We’ve written plenty on First Reference Talks about the significant effects—both negative and positive—that online social networking can have on workplaces. Whether its Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, news or entertainment blogs or what-have-you, employees are using social media, and increasingly they’re doing it on your time. Employers should be aware of the potential value they can derive from social media, as well as the potential risks.
Some employers fear that these activities are simply wasting their employees’ time and reducing their productivity; others feel that a bit of social web surfing makes employees happier and more productive. Some employers might simply block access to social media websites; others might allow access, but monitor usage to ensure employees aren’t spending all their time socializing or watching funny videos.
But the risks of social media in the workplace go far beyond a little wasted time. Consider the various cases of employees terminated for posting on Facebook or their blogs unflattering or outright offensive opinions of their employers or co-workers. And then there’s the recent case of a worker who used his employer’s network to download copyright movies, music and pornographic material.
On the other hand, consider the valuable connections that your employees are making and maintaining, the improved communication among employees themselves, and the company endorsements employees make—either directly or indirectly—among their connections online and off.
At the Ontario Employment Law Conference, presented by First Reference and law firm Stringer Brisbin Humphrey, lawyer Kelly McDermott will put these things in perspective in a session titled, “Social Networking and Internet Abuse in the Workplace”.
According to the conference agenda, as wireless connectivity and online social networking become ever more prevalent, many employers are struggling to keep up. Controlling data and avoiding time theft are key to maintaining security and efficiency. This session will cover:
- How to develop and implement Internet and social networking policies
- Strategies for addressing time theft, defamation, and harassment during and after working hours
- Lessons from the case law about when to performance manage and when terminate for cause
Here’s Kelly giving an idea of what you can expect.
So what are you waiting for? This is a whole lot of good advice from knowledgeable professionals! Register for the 2011 Employment Law Conference—and Learn the latest! (Registrations now closed)
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Editor