It’s one thing to enforce a policy at work requiring employees not to access social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter while on the job. But it’s another thing to enforce a policy on employees once they clock out—or is it?
Just ask New Mexico police officer Trey Economidy. Last week, Economidy made headlines by shooting and killing a gang suspect. The city worker is now under fire as it was discovered on Facebook that he described his job as a “human waste disposal.”
Offensive? Maybe. Imagine being the mother of the suspect who was killed. So I ask, should Economidy be disciplined for speaking his mind off the clock, no matter how inappropriate? Because he is a city worker, should he have stricter policies for social media usage? Does that hinder upon his freedom of speech?
It starts getting a little hairy and uncomfortable once these questions start to arise.
I will tell you that I full-heartedly agree that companies should have some sort of policy surrounding social media use in the workplace. Anywhere from “use it whenever you want” to “don’t log-in ever,” businesses should address it either verbally or in writing to their employees. The level of strictness really depends on what suits the company and its employees best.
There is one thing that’s for certain—Economidy is not alone. There are many stories on the Internet of people posting inappropriate things, either about their employers or themselves, that resulted in losing their jobs. Last summer, The Huffington Post published Fired Over Facebook: 13 Posts That Got People CANNED.
Does your company have a social media policy in place? If so, do you think it’s too strict or too lenient? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.