A recent Deloitte survey shows that bosses and employees have very different views of employee privacy when it comes to posting on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Sixty percent of executives responding to the survey said they have a right to know how employees portray their companies online.
That view clashes with the opinion of 53% of workers who say their off-duty posts are none of their employers’ business.
As might be expected, the divide is even sharper among younger workers. Sixty-three percent of workers ages 18 to 34 say their employers have no right to monitor their online postings. Almost three-quarters of employees (74%) acknowledge that social networking sites may very easily be used to trash an employer’s reputation.
So what are executives doing? Just 17% formally monitor employee postings—a practice that may have limited value anyway. Only half of employees said employer monitoring would have any effect on their online behavior. The survey assessed the opinions of more than 2,000 employees and 500 executives.
Note: See Employers: ‘Keep out!’ for more on regulating employee online behavior.
Final note: Employers should also tread carefully if an online posting reveals an employee’s disability or confidential medical condition. Employers that make hiring, firing or promotion decisions based on disability or perceived disability could run afoul of the ADA.
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