How Using Social Media at Work Can Get You Fired in California

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Nowadays, we are hyper-connected because of social media platforms that are easily accessible on both computers and mobile devices. Practically all employees have access to the Internet as part of their job in some capacity, and must fight the urge to update or check their social media pages while working. This is because there are several ways that using social media at work can get you fired in California.

4 Ways Using Social Media at Work Can Get You Fired

1. Posting confidential company information.

Careless posting on your personal social media profiles can lead to the inadvertent disclosure of confidential information belonging to your employer. You as an employee may be privy to certain information that the general public is not, and accidentally making a disclosure of confidential information over a social media platform is misappropriation of the confidential information – and it can get you fired.

2. Posting updates or comments with racist, sexist or other offensive undertones.

Offensive comments can take on many forms: insensitive posts about people of other races, gender or ethnicity, homophobic remarks, or religiously intolerant tweeting are all examples of offensive comments that can be made on social media. Employers have a duty to stop discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and any harassing or discriminatory comments or posts that you make to social media while on the clock can get you fired by your employer.

3. Griping about your employment gig.

Not only is complaining about your job on social media foolish, it can get you fired. No employer wants to see an employee bad-mouthing his or her job online. There is a difference between using social media to concert the activities of several fellow employees who share grievances about pay or working conditions (and employees are within their rights to do this), but it is another to complain about how dull you find your job or your boss on social media.

4. Playing on social media sites when you are supposed to be working.

Social media is addicting, and many employees sneak onto their social media accounts while they are at work. If your company has a strict “no social media while on the clock” policy and you log onto your favorite social networking site anyway, you could be fired, especially if there is timestamped evidence that shows you were posting when you should have been working instead. Think twice before you repost that cute cat video or retweet that funny post from your favorite television personality.

There are countless ways that using social media at work can get you fired, so it is prudent to follow your employer’s internal social media usage policies. If your employer has one in place, it is best to wait to log on to social media until after working hours.

California Has Privacy Laws That Protect Employees 

Your California employer has a legitimate interest in knowing about your activities while you are at work, but what you do on your own time is up to you. How California employees spend their off-the-clock hours is none of their employer’s business as employees are afforded the right of privacy under state law. Additionally, employees are also afforded a certain level of privacy while they are working, but privacy while at work is not without limitations, as outlined above.

If you believe that you have been wrongfully terminated because of something your employer saw on your social media feeds or you believe that your employer has invaded your privacy, you should speak with the California employment lawyers at Hennig Ruiz. Please contact us for a free consultation today.