This is another blog that I wrote for Koroberi, Inc. but I thought I would share it with you all.
We recently saw an article first posted by NPR on how the National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint after an Ambulance Service fired a worker for complaining about her boss on Facebook.
This story really intrigued me. I work in social media everyday. Our entire office spends time working on Twitter and Facebook so what exactly did this woman say and why did she say it?
As a social media intern, I know the rules. I know the standards that people like to see and I know the professionalism that is usually expected on Facebook and Twitter. I literally cringe when I see my peers posting drunken pictures of themselves all over the Internet. I know these things are wrong but some people don’t.
I also think this story will get misinterpreted into the woman being mistreated by her boss. The point of this story is to NOT do what this woman did because eventually the trash talking will get back to someone (including your boss.)
I think of my Internet postings this way- do not post anything you wouldn’t want your Mom or Dad to see. This woman who talked inappropriately about her supervisor should have included her boss into that mix.
Our Internet privacy is declining by the day. When you say something on the Internet, know that there are a lot of other people who will see it. I think this woman should be disciplined in some way for her inappropriate behavior online.
Some companies have already set policies in place. Coca Cola recently launched a social media policy. Some of their rules include, be mindful that you are representing the company and when in doubt, do not post. I think Coca Cola gave out some great guidelines to their employees and other corporations will soon be following their example.
The pending lawsuit with the National Labor Relations Board will set a precedent for the future. It doesn’t matter anymore just what your mother would deem appropriate. The Labor Relations Board will stick up for you no matter how vulgar you are about your boss online IF your coworkers agree with you. According to the New York Times article workers rights to collaborate are extended to Facebook.
“Employees talking jointly about working conditions, in this case about their supervisor,” have a “right to do that, whether it takes place on Facebook or at the water cooler,” said the board’s attorney. The National Labor Relations Act gives workers the right to unionize and to discuss working conditions. This changes everything in the workplace and allows people to rethink some standards.
The National Labor Board is now saying that you can go home and talk with your co-workers about your horrible boss. Is this good for the future of the workplace? Does this encourage people to do what we always thought was taboo?
Social media is intertwined into everything we do now. I have even seen some job postings that ask for your Twitter handle. Future employers Google EVERYONE and your future job could be on the line if they see something they don’t like. Google yourself and make sure what everyone else is seeing is what you want them to see. This woman’s story is not the first, and definitely not the last story on someone getting fired because of something his or her boss saw on the Internet. Just because the Labor Board is saying it is okay to talk with co-workers about your boss, doesn’t mean it is appropriate.