Do you mix Facebook and work? A Cisco Technology study found 70% of young professionals admitted to friending their boss or co-worker, but sometimes what you post on social media can cost you your job.
For eight years, Misty Roberson worked as a clerk in a pediatrician’s office.
“I loved it! I never had any intentions of leaving there,” said Roberson.
She consistently received high marks on evaluations, but a post she made one day on Facebook changed everything. Roberson’s daughter, a patient at the clinic, was sick and Roberson couldn’t get an appointment for her.
“That night I had posted on my Facebook, ‘After two and half hours of being at the immediate care, I finally have answers because work had no appointments. Can you believe it?’” recalled Roberson.
Shortly after the post she was called into her manager’s office.
“They just told me that I was being terminated because I had violated social media policy,” she said.
Attorney Amanda Farahany alleges the clinic’s policy is illegal and violated Misty’s right to free speech.
“People are actually allowed to communicate about the workplace,” said Farahany.
However, she says workers should be very cautious when posting about their jobs. Some tips are set up two accounts; one for friends, one for professional relationships. Don’t post personal information or pictures you don’t want others to see, know your company’s social media policy, and take advantage of privacy features, but realize your company can access everything if you’ve posted from their computers.
“If you’re on the company’s computers, it’s not private,” advised Farahany.
That includes any emails you send from personal accounts. Roberson is taking legal action against the clinic.
“I want them to realize that they’ve hurt me,” she explained.
But she says she’s extra careful these days.
“I’m scared to write anything now on Facebook,” she said.
Roberson’s co-worker friend on Facebook is the one who alerted management to the post. Roberson says she received outstanding employee evaluations all eight years of her employment and that’s why her lawyer believes she has a strong case.