Can a company reasonably believe they can control the social media behavior of their employees? If yes, what is a reasonable expectation?
Recently, I received a recommendation on a social media website from a friend who remains at a previous employer of mine. This previous employer was not happy that I left, but during my short time there, I made significant contributions and was never negligent in any way. I tried to gracefully disconnect when I left.
My friend was asked by his direct report to remove the recommendation, due to the fact that the owner was not happy I left and did not want my friend helping me in any way.
My friend proceeded to explain that the website in question was not company property. The login he created was not assigned by the company and the content is not monitored by the company. Therefore, they can not dictate his actions or activities on this website, especially if they are not inappropriate, inaccurate or disparaging.
Here is my point. I understand that putting a picture of yourself getting sick from consuming too much alcohol on a social media site will potentially get you fired, and in some cases it should. But if you are behaving in a professional manner, performing in a professional way and not posting or representing false information, should an employer have the right to an opinion, or have the right to command you to edit your activity?
Where does the line start - when is it crossed - and where does it end?
You will all be glad to know that my friend is still employed at this past employer of mine. Would you be surprised to here that the recommendation is still there? Well, it is. It has now been up there for two months since it was first noticed. My friend held his ground and the employer is researching his rights.
What would you do?