Social media and employment has been a hot-button issue since social media became popular. There have been many stories told of employees who lost their job due to their social media activity. It is becoming increasingly important to be careful about what you say on social media. There is one form of social media that can be protected in certain cases: the blog. This article will discuss what types of blogging are protected by law.
Social Media Blunders
Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook are some of the most popular social media platforms that people use. While these platforms can be fun to use, you must be careful of the postings you make online, especially when it comes to your job.
There have been quite a few people who have been fired because of statements they made online. In 2009, it was found that 8% of companies reported that they terminated employees for social media activity.
If you have a blog that you update regularly, there are instances where you can be protected by the law. There are laws in place that are designed to keep employers from terminating or disciplining an employee if they make statements about certain issues. If you are a blogger, these protections apply to you.
Most states have enacted laws that prohibit employers from taking disciplinary actions against employees for behaviors that occur outside of work. If you are blogging on your own personal time, these laws could apply to you as well.
Political views that are expressed outside of work are also protected by the law in many states. If you use your blog to express your political views, your employer could be punished by the law if they terminate you because of it.
Employees who discuss concerns about potential illegal activity on the part of the employer may be protected by whistleblower laws. You need to check your state's laws to see if blogging about these types of activities is protected, or if you need to take other action if you notice these behaviors.
If you write a blog posting that discusses any harassment, discrimination, or other type of wrongdoing, you may be protected by the law. If you feel your employer has violated your rights, you can typically blog about it and be protected. It is wise to check the laws of your state first to make sure these postings are protected.
When Blogging Isn't Protected
When you are blogging, there are certain things you will want to avoid. These areas will not be protected by the law and you can still get yourself into trouble.
- Racist, bigoted, or sexist statements.
- Posting about confidential company information or trade secrets.
- Using your blog to vent about petty workplace issues.
- Making denigrating comments about your co-workers.
If you have a blog that you update in a frequent basis, consult with an attorney at a place like Alterman Stuart J if you are concerned about the material you post. This is the best way to make sure you are posting content that is protected by the law.