Can Social Media Posts Impact Your Job Status?

social media postsCan my social media posts affect my job status? Many people experience some level of dissatisfaction with their jobs, co-workers, or supervisors. If you are one of those people, you are not alone. One study reports that more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with their work environment. That number has risen over recent years.

What is Making Workers Unhappy?

Workers report growing dissatisfaction in a number of specific areas, such as:

  • Wages;
  • Policies relating to promotions;
  • Benefits such as health insurance, sick leave, and vacation time;
  • Retirement plans;
  • Basic job security.

What Brings Happiness to the Job?

Employees report that two factors impact their happiness on the job more than any others –  interest in the job itself and having positive relationships with co-workers and supervisors.

Notably, job satisfaction has actually increased in one area – physical environment. Researchers surmise this may be related to the increase in telecommuting in many industries.

Social Media Posts and How to NOT to Handle Job Angst

Social media posts about your job frustrations can be quite dangerous to your job security. A case in point involves Jane Brill, who was fired after making disparaging remarks about her colleagues on Facebook. While Brill, and plenty of other people, may believe they have every right to say what they want on their own Facebook accounts, (what is the first amendment all about, anyway?) she was mistaken. The fact is, because Brill worked for a private company, she must adhere to their privacy rules.

What About Social Media Posts Unrelated to Work?

Inappropriate social media posts unrelated to the workplace can be just as dangerous to employees as complaints about the company. Even if it occurs on personal time, on a personal device, and espousing personal views, posting offensive content online can result in an employee’s termination.

Review  Your Social Media Posts Before You Get the Job

Believe it or not, seven in 10 employers screen social media pages of job applicants prior to making a job offer. So, if you are highly qualified for a position in a competitive job market,  your social media posts may tip the scales for or against you as company weighs your application against those of your competitors.

What to Avoid

Although it should go without saying, there are some types of posts that serious individuals really need to avoid:

  • Anything showing partying or drunken behavior;
  • Political or religious social media posts that may offend others;
  • Complaints about current or previous employers;
  • Profanity;
  • Evidence of prejudice;
  • Poor grammar.

Social Media Training

Employers can make sure their expectations are clear by providing regular training sessions for employees regarding social media. Additionally, clearly articulating policies in employee manuals can ensure everyone knows exactly what is accepted and what is considered an offense worthy of termination. [Read more…]

Can My Facebook Page Impact My Employment?

FacebookYou have a Facebook account; practically everyone does. Can it be a problem for you when it comes to seeking a job? The short answer is yes.

Employers Take a Peek

The fact of the matter is, 60% of 5,000 surveyed employers confess to using sites on social media to find out about potential employees. That number has increased by 500% in the past 10 years. Here is something worth noting: Nearly half of those employers report finding something on a social media site that made them hesitant to hire a job candidate. Do we have your attention yet?

Dangerous Facebook Posts

What kinds of Facebook or online posts could be detrimental to your employment opportunities? We recommend avoiding certain posts, such as:

  • Sexually provocative photos, videos, or stories;
  • Pictures, video, and comments related to drinking and/or drug use;
  • Posts displaying discriminatory attitudes;
  • Profanity;
  • Gun references;
  • Inflammatory comments about previous employers/coworkers;
  • Communication skills that indicate poor grammar, spelling, etc.

Turning Facebook Lemons into Lemonade

We know there is a good chance that your potential employer is going to look at your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social media page. In fact, 41% of employers report that they may not even interview candidates if they can not find information about them on Facebook or elsewhere online. What now? Seize the opportunity! This is your chance to make a great impression! Instead of causing your potential employer to scratch his or her head in wonder while viewing your online presence, let him or her see all the ways you stand head and shoulders above the crowd. What might your posts include?

  • Pictures showing you engaged in volunteer work;
  • Posts revealing your positive outlook and professional stature;
  • Engagement in hobbies that stretch your skills and determination;
  • Information displaying your travel and global interests;
  • Posts showing smooth, clean communication skills;
  • Comments from others indicating what a stand-up character you are.

Remember, employers are looking for someone who is not only qualified for the job; they also want someone who is a good cultural fit. Additionally, many employers are looking for creative, engaging people for their companies.

When it Becomes a Legal Issue

All of this is completely legal, although some potential employers may cross a line that could leave them vulnerable to legal action. You may have legitimate concerns if you are asked to share your password, or if you get the impression that you have been singled out when it comes to the viewing of social media.  

Think Before You Post on Facebook

In this day and age, every single thing you post on social media is fair game. So, think. Be smart about it. If you have concerns about your employment in Sonoma County, Mendocino County or Lake County California being impacted by social media and would like our legal team to take a look at your situation, contact us at Beck Law P.C., in Santa Rosa.

Employer’s Social Media Policy

Social Media PolicyWhat is your employer’s social media policy? Can employees be punished for criticizing their employers on social media? James Kennedy wrote some complaints on Twitter about Chipotle restaurants. One of these tweets criticized Chipotle for charging extra for guacamole. Another complained that the prices of Chipotle’s meals were excessive, considering the salaries of its crew members.

These kinds of tweets might not please Chipotle’s marketing department, but one would not expect there to be much fuss about them. There was a complicating factor, however – Kennedy himself was a Chipotle crew member. And Chipotle had a Social Media Policy Code of Conduct, which prohibited employees from posting “disparaging” statements on social media platforms such as Twitter.

Chipotle insisted that Kennedy delete some of his tweets. When Kennedy circulated a petition among employees in protest of the company’s break policies (Kennedy alleged that the company was not following its own regulations), his manager directed him to stop. When Kennedy refused to stop circulating the petition, he was discharged.

Kennedy alleged that he was fired in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). On August 18, 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that he was wrongfully terminated. The NLRB’s opinion states that many of Chipotle’s policies are unlawful, including its Social Media Code of Conduct.

The Chipotle Social Media Policy Ruling

The Board’s social media policy ruling ordered Chipotle to do all of the following:

  • Offer Kennedy his job back, or a substantially equivalent job (if his former job no longer existed).
  • Pay Kennedy for his lost salary and benefits.
  • Remove any references to Kennedy’s discharge in its files.
  • Allow its workers to circulate petitions regarding employment conditions.
  • Stop enforcing its Social Media Policy Code of Conduct, which prohibits employees from posting “incomplete, confidential or inaccurate information and making disparaging, false, or misleading statements.”
  • Stop enforcing its “Solicitation Policy,” which prohibits employees from soliciting even when they are off the clock, if they are in working areas, and the solicitation could be seen or heard by customers.
  • Stop enforcing its “Chipotle’s Confidential Information” rule, which limits how employees may use the name of the restaurant.
  • Stop enforcing its “Ethical Communications” rule, which directs employees to “avoid exaggeration, guesswork, and derogatory characterizations of people and their motives.”
  • Stop prohibiting its employees from discussing politics, and from using the restaurant’s name for political purposes.
  • Post notices in specified locations in Chipotle facilities which inform employees that the NLRB found that their employer violated federal labor law. The notices also inform employees of their labor rights, and explain that Chipotle will no longer maintain certain policies (such as the Social Media Code of Conduct, the Solicitation Policy, the Chipotle’s Confidential Information rule, and the Ethical Communications rule).

[Read more…]


The information on this website should not be considered to be legal advice, nor construed to be the formation of any manner of attorney client relationship. Prior to taking any form of legal action, please consult with an attorney experienced in the appropriate area of law germane to your situation. Case results and testimonials presented on or any of its related websites are germane to the facts present for each individual case and is not a promise of similar outcomes for any other cases. This website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of California.