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How do you feel about appearing on your company’s website?

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Question: "Our home page features pictures of our entire staff; we each had to submit one. Obviously this is not the kind of thing that gets mentioned at a job interview as a requirement of the position, but it would have been nice to know that my photo and contact info would be broadcast online. I’m not sure I object enough to mention it, but I feel as if I should have control of where my image, title, and general location is posted, since as a first-year admin I’m not exactly a key player the public needs to know. Am I being too sensitive?” – Bonnie, Clinical Project Assistant

See comments below, and send your own question to Admin-Pro@nibm.net.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark September 19, 2013 at 5:02 pm

In many states, you DO have control over this. In Illinois, for example, no company (including an employer) can use a person’s image in marketing without that person’s consent. Over the years, we have had several employees who said they did not want their photo on our website, in marketing materials, etc. We always grant their request.


Carol September 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Where can I find this information for Illinois?


Robyn September 19, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I think any organization you are associated with-work, school, church, professional, etc-should always ask before posting a phot of you on thier website or even in thier information. Everyone’s comfort level with having thier image ‘out there in the universe’ is different. If you say no don’t then that should be the end of the discussion. Perhaps have a conversation with your immediate supervisor about it. Can’t hurt and may open up dialogs within the corporate culture about the practice.


Jennifer September 13, 2013 at 1:35 pm

With current facial recognition software, using just first names, or even a pseudonym would not necessarily protect someone from being found by a stalker. As stated earlier, people can and do have legitimate reasons for not wanting their picture posted. This absolutely needs to be an individual choice.


Jennifer September 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Meant to add that contact info (work phone and e-mail – Not Personal Contact Info) does seem reasonable.


Judy September 13, 2013 at 11:35 am

When a person is employed by a privately owned company I don’t believe said company has any right to expose their employees to unwanted/unnecessary exposure.

As stated this practice can put employees in harms way and may contribute to lawsuits against a person’s employer. Putting a name (first initials only) on the company website with contact information may be acceptable but even that might create issues.

In our lawsuit happy culture I would think most companies would think very carefully about providing this information to the general public.


Lynn September 13, 2013 at 8:50 am

In state government, on eof the local papers posted the names, salaries and work locations of all personnel….the results were horrendous! Certain staff who practiced anonimity were ‘found’ by stalkers/exes/other unwelcome individuals, and suffered through contact that some were protected from until that time. The company SHOULD allow for contact info without a picture, first initials only so it cannot be detemined if the employee is a male or female. With domestic violence laws becoming more protective, any company DOES face the possibility of a lawsuit if an individual is harmed as a result of the unwanted exposure.
Some of you may think it promotes a ‘friendly’ company front, but there are many individuals who have legitimate reason to not need the exposure. They should at least have an option. The company should have said it would occur when they interviewed, but one can’t think of everything (giving them the benefit of the doubt).


Lynn September 13, 2013 at 8:52 am

* one of – sorry for the typo! :)


Jackqueline September 13, 2013 at 1:47 am

We have a talent release, and if you don’t wish (or can’t have) your name or photo in public, our marketing team can’t put your photo/name anywhere if you do not give permission.

We had a case where a young woman had her photo taken placed on the web page, she had a domestic violence problem, she hadn’t signed the talent release form there were major problems, the photo identified her workplace location. Police were involved; now as a result, this issue is closely monitored


Jackqueline September 13, 2013 at 1:47 am

sorry – a talent release form


Sharon September 12, 2013 at 7:16 pm

I am uncomfortable with my picture being posted online. Some people are more private than others. As a private person, my family knows not to post my picture on Facebook but my employer is less likely to be influenced by my preference to keep my image off of the Internet.


Patti September 12, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Lots of companies list their staff with photos. The chamber also has photos of all the Board of Trustees and high end level members’ photos. I’ve never heard of any of them objecting. In your research prior to the interview, did you visit the company’s website? Did you notice that staff photos were included? Personally, I would not have a problem with that.


Treva September 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Bonnie, I do understand that this can be a sensitive subject amongst a lot of individuals, however, I do not consider a photo and your work contact information on the company’s website a deal breaker. Personally, I think it is a great idea! I have been an Executive Assistant for over 25 years and find this to be a welcoming change from the old days of having to do research to obtain company information or using a phone book to get contact information. These days with the advancement of technology, people look up companies all the time online and especially when looking specifically for contact information. Our company just redid our website and we had a photographer come in and take professional photos of everyone for our Contact Us page. This practice is very commonplace in organizations today and since they are not putting your personal information out there, except for a photo, it really should not be a big deal. Everyone makes a contribution to the company regardless to if they are a first-year admin or the CEO and people who do business with your company like to put a name to a face. I do realize some people may feel like that is an invasion of their privacy, however, this is business and once you join an organization you are representative of that business. With that being said, I do not think there should be an issue with them using your image on their website to promote that business.


Gibson September 12, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Having someone’s contact information and photo on the company’s website can be somewhat disconcerting if you are not used to it. I find this information helpful when I need to contact someone, but I don’t need a photo. Just providing the contact information is perfectly fine. When I do locate the contact information and there is a picture of the person beside the name, it gives me the feeling that the company is friendly, helpful and “customer service” driven. There may be a chance that your company will remove your information if you explain your concerns to them. Future note…when you do decide to seek employment elsewhere, you might want to check out their website first. I know I will.


Olevia September 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Our organization does this and our department requires our picture to be “out there”. I do not participate on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media and resent being required to include my picture on internal work emails and address books. My opinion is that this is a violation of our privacy.


Rita September 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm

I agree with Barbie M. If the site isn’t kept current, then the company looks bad. The bigger question is, of course, whether or not I want to have my picture available to the whole world, Frankly, I don’t have a picture on Facebook. I think I should be consulted before my picture gets posted on the web, anywhere. Photographers used to have to get written permission to publish any picture they’ve taken. What happened to that?


Barbie M September 12, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Whose idea was it to do this? It sounds as if someone thought it would be a cute idea to promote a friendly work environment without really thinking through the consequences. It’s a rather strange thing to feature the entire staff, especially considering how fluid some of those jobs can be and the amount of work it can take to update a website. So many company websites are woefully outdated as is without the added pressure of keeping up with all the outgoing and incoming employees. Just my thoughts!


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