Legal decisions have shown that employers need a social media policy widely communicated to their employees to ensure clear expectations around appropriate social media content during work hours and off-the-clock. A clear policy can reinforce discipline and termination decisions by employers as well as protect employers from other liability, such as FTC endorsement violations. The following is an example of an electronic and social media policy.
“The Company reserves the right to access and monitor all content on its systems and equipment and disclose information to law enforcement as appropriate. Employees should not expect privacy. Employees are responsible for using all Company-supplied and personal systems and equipment, including computers, networks, internet connections, email, fax, and phones, including cell phones, in an ethical, respectful, and lawful manner while working on behalf of the Company. The following rules apply to all employees:
- Employees are prohibited from sharing, sending, or posting financial, confidential, sensitive, or proprietary information about the Company, promoting our services or products, nor reference any information regarding our customers/clients unless that is expressly part of their job duties and unless all security precautions are followed.
- Employees may not create, post, or share content, including instant and text messages, email, website profiles, photographs, blogs, videos, podcasts, or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening, intimidating, derogatory, or defamatory toward any person, or make remarks that could be construed as harassment or bullying towards our customers/clients, employees, or vendors.
- Respect copyright laws, and reference or cite sources appropriately. Employees may not use Company logos or trademarks without prior written consent by your Manager.
- When posting on social media sites for personal use, employees should never imply they represent or speak on behalf of the Company.
- Personal social media accounts and blogs should have clear disclaimers that the author’s views are the author’s alone and do not represent the Company’s views.
- Please be honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if you make a mistake, correct it quickly.
- This policy does not prohibit the types of activities protected by federal or state law, such as the online discussion of wages or working conditions among employees.