Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 14

TWIN DESIGN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Social Media in Employment Update
BY TONY STERGIO, ANDREWS MYERS, PC
SOCIAL MEDIA IS EVERYWHERE, MAKING
it impossible to escape texts, emails,
Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram,
and the like. It's changed our world, especially our employment relationships, and
this article summarizes a few ways in which
employers must mind social media and
social media policies in the workplace.
Employee Social Media
Restrictions
Employers can always restrict employees' access to the Internet, social media
or any particular website during working
hours. Employers can also restrict their
employees' use of their work email, as well
as their use of cellphones/devices during
working hours (personal or companysupplied). Restrictions such as these are
important for productivity and safety (i.e.
no texting in work areas to avoid falls, accidents, etc.). The important thing to keep in
mind is that such policies, like all employment policies, should be applied uniformly.
Social Media in the
Interview Process
How potential employees portray themselves during a formal interview might be
14

very different from how they present themselves via social media. Therefore, it could
be beneficial for an employer to look at an
applicant's social media pages during the
interview process. Some employers go so
far as to require applicants to provide social
media passwords so that the employer may
review "private" content during the hiring
process. This practice is illegal in Maryland,
and other states such as California and
Illinois are considering such laws. There is
currently no such law in Texas.
While an employee's social media
account can give an employer insight into
personality and attitude, it also may show
information that employers may not consider when making hiring decisions, such as:
* Pregnancy;
* Religion;
* Sexual orientation/preferences;
* Disability/association with
a disabled person.
If employers choose to look at applicants' social media accounts, it must
be careful not to consider information
found related with these and other
protected characteristics when making hiring decisions. One solution is to
have a "gatekeeper" who is not directly

involved in making hiring decisions review
an applicant's social media accounts.
That gatekeeper can then pass on permissible, relevant information to the
decision-makers and hold back information related to protected characteristics.
Disciplining Existing Employees for
What They Post on Social Media
Employers cannot always discipline an
employee for posting negative comments
about the company or their boss on social
media. The National Labor Relations Board
routinely holds that disciplining employees
for work-related comments on social media
may violate the National Labor Relations
Act (whether a workplace is unionized
or not). The NLRB says certain posts may
be "concerted activity" related to workplace issues, which cannot be the basis of
employee discipline.
The NLRB, for example, has issued
numerous complaints against employers
who terminated employees for criticizing
supervisors on social media. One specific
case concerns an ambulance service that
was investigating an employee for rude
and unprofessional conduct. Later, the
employee posted on Facebook: "Love
Cornerstone



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cornerstone - Winter 2017

From the Chairman of the Board, James Bryant
AGC Houston 2018 Board of Directors
Get to Know Your Newest Board Members
Disaster Response: AGC Houston Announces $100,000 for Hurricanes Harvey & Maria Relief
Social Media in Employment Update
AGC Houston Silica Task Force Releases Safety Training & Development Program Guide
Past Events
Member News
Index of Advertisers/ Advertiser.com
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - Intro
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - bellyband1
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - bellyband2
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - cover1
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - cover2
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 3
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 4
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 5
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 6
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - From the Chairman of the Board, James Bryant
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 8
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - AGC Houston 2018 Board of Directors
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - Get to Know Your Newest Board Members
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 11
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 12
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - Disaster Response: AGC Houston Announces $100,000 for Hurricanes Harvey & Maria Relief
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - Social Media in Employment Update
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 15
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - AGC Houston Silica Task Force Releases Safety Training & Development Program Guide
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 17
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - Past Events
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 19
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 20
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - Member News
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - Index of Advertisers/ Advertiser.com
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - cover3
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - cover4
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - outsert1
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - outsert2
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 27
Cornerstone - Winter 2017 - 28
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