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In trouble with work over facebook post


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As the title suggests I've recently got in trouble at work for a facebook post that 'offended' someone I work with. I've been warned by my manager that I'm not to post anything that may offend anyone who I work with on any social media, or I could risk losing my job. Now my question is can my employers truly have a say in what I post on social media in my free time? Is it my fault that certain people are so thin skinned? 

 

The person who was 'offended' chose to be anonymous, and didn't specify what it was on facebook that offended them, so it's not just a simple case of deleting that person. I have quite a few people who I work with on facebook, and other social networking sites, so I'd rather not have to delete everyone because one person got offended.

 

Just wondered if anyone here has had similar experiences before, and what the best thing to do about it is.

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Did you give them your page information, or did they find it themselves during a background check?

 

Nevertheless, here's a quick-and-dirty page of information concerning off-duty conduct laws in the U.S.  Apologies if you're not in the U.S.; I haven't pried into where you are from.

 

http://www.ncsl.org/documents/employ/off-dutyconductdiscrimination.pdf

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I doubt the company can do anything, unless what you posted was likely to bring damage the reputation of the company eg defamatory, racist etc. I would speak to HR and ask them to speak to the person that says they were offended to let you know so you can remove them from your fiends list, this way you wont offend them again.

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My employers you mean? No I haven't given them any of my social media information. Only some of my colleagues I have added, or have added me.

 

I'm from the UK, but thanks anyway.

 

Ah, in that case, it is problematic, as recent rulings of the Employment Appeal Tribunal have sided with employers, since they've decided that, when private life becomes public (such as on Facebook), that conduct isn't protected under the Employment Rights Act or protected under laws of the ECHR.  Rather a shame, really, but that's what it's come to.

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Just wondered if anyone here has had similar experiences before, and what the best thing to do about it is.

I had it once but mine was insulting other people I worked with. My boss told me I'd have to stop because it was causing tension... so, naturally, I went out guns blazing.

No idea if they can really threaten to sack you for posts unconnected to the company, though.

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Ask that the post in question be pointed out to you.  You're unsure what comment it was, meaning you're unsure of whether false accusations are being raised against you.  Furthermore, you've been declared guilty without being given a chance to ascertain your innocence which constitutes one form of slander or another depending on what lawyer's reading what laws.

 

Stretching it further, you're being subjected to a form of entrapment as you've been marked as responsible for an offence, but have no idea of its nature yet you're expected to curb said behavior.  In other words you've been warned to not do "it" again, but since you don't know what "it" is you may have already done it again and now your job is at risk and you've been given no resources whatsoever to prevent said events.  (You see, we're not lawyers but we all know at least one, and where bullshit laws can be twisted to protect the poor offended Siberians, they can be twisted right back in every instance or there would be no politician outside of jail)

 

Once you got that post's info should be easy to figure out who got offended by the picture of Moon Moon because it's insulting to Siberians, then you can happily block that person assuming there aren't enough grounds/can't be bothered to take that person and/or the company to a lovely 8 hour session in court.

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No, the issue here is adding colleagues, or having an open profile.

Anything anyone posts has the potential to offend someone, unfortunately.

However, you shouldn't really get in trouble for something you've posted on facebook in your own spare time.

If you have further queries, Artamir, contact your nearest Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Or go on adviceguide.org.uk

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And yet another reason I don't FB!

 

This. Much wisdom.  

 

In fact, this thread has helped me make up my mind to remove myself completely from Facebook. Always wanted to, but did not want to feel I have insulted the real life friends I have on FB.

 

 FB etc is the brave new world. The law of the lands have not caught up yet, and judgments are made on the run, based on emotions, and will mostly fall on the victims side. 

 

 

 

Artimir92, if that 'other person' feels he/she has been bullied, rip that post down, and if you truly do not know what was written or contained in a photo, rip it all down and publicly apologise with very real sincerity and no sarcasm.

 

EDIT: Do not write the apology yourself. Ask HR for assistance in its construction.

 

This could be a storm in a tea cup, or something very serious. Either way, you have lost control.

 

Remember, you do not own your Facebook page.

 

Who ever says you have rights is completely ignorant.

 

You have no rights to something you do not own and any conversation on FB is public.

 

You Do NOT Have any Rights to bully and harass. None. I do not even need to know UK law to state that.

 

Regardless of the law of your nation, if your workplace feels you are bullying and harassing a colleague, and worse, PUBLICLY,  inside or outside of the workplace, you are well and truly fucked.

 

Edit: If your company is a reputable one, most likely all harassment complaints, regardless of intensity, have escalated to executive level. 

 

Do you really want your name on that particular list. 

 

That list is a Career Ending List.

 

Company's must be seen  and act to stamp out harassment and bullying. Non action is not an option.

 

You must be seen to be doing everything in your power to correct the offence, being guided by your Management who is in direct communication with the offended person, as to what will satisfy that requirement.

 

You will never know the person who has filed the complaint.

 

It is not your business to know.

 

Never ask who it is ever again. It will be construed as 'harassment.

 

Also remember, ignorance is no defense. Not knowing what you said or posted is no defense. It is the act that matters, and more importantly, the intent of that act.

 

So hopefully, I have scared the bejezus out of you.

 

Act immediately, with the assistance of the Company management, get it fixed. Good luck, then have a BBQ with your  close friends,  have a good healthy bitch there... never on FB.

 

 

CrankyCat

 

ps.

 

I had it once but mine was insulting other people I worked with. My boss told me I'd have to stop because it was causing tension... so, naturally, I went out guns blazing.

No idea if they can really threaten to sack you for posts unconnected to the company, though.

 

This is a comment from someone who has nothing to loose, good or bad, depending on POV.  Do not copycat this, lol.

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No, the issue here is adding colleagues, or having an open profile.

This.

I opened my FB account back when it was limited to edu, but then they sold out (awesome). My FB has always been friends-only, as are those in my circle, and I've never gotten into my head that it's a good idea to add coworkers to the mix. That's what LinkedIn is for. Employees get fired over FB and Twitter in the U.S. (and candidates are completely culled from the pile ahead of time by their public posts so they never get hired in the first place--I actually helped my boss with this, and we didn't even bother to look at resumes before doing that), so always keep this stuff private. Yes, it's even better to not have any social media accounts, certainly not traceable to yourself, but sometimes that's the best way to keep in touch with some people. C'est la vie.

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This.

I opened my FB account back when it was limited to edu, but then they sold out (awesome). My FB has always been friends-only, as are those in my circle, and I've never gotten into my head that it's a good idea to add coworkers to the mix. That's what LinkedIn is for. Employees get fired over FB and Twitter in the U.S. (and candidates are completely culled from the pile ahead of time by their public posts so they never get hired in the first place--I actually helped my boss with this, and we didn't even bother to look at resumes before doing that), so always keep this stuff private. Yes, it's even better to not have any social media accounts, certainly not traceable to yourself, but sometimes that's the best way to keep in touch with some people. C'est la vie.

 

The problem is, you cannot control which 'friend' opens up their profile to the world, and/ or tags your comments/ photos to the world, and yes, no matter how many times I have been asked, I have never allowed work colleagues access, but again, friends of my friends are not in my sphere of influence so the whole issue of Friends only becomes quite mute.

 

So called FB security settings has more holes than a sieve.

 

 

CrankyCat

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Pretty pathetic when you aren't allowed to have an opinion, and not only that, but your accuser gets to remain anonymous. If they can't publicly complain, I think they should stfu. Make a fake page that has no connection to you, don't access it from work, and place your real thoughts on it, no way can they troll that.

 

Personally I think people need to grow thicker skins. The world is not there to make you feel good about yourself.

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It is not right that someone can make a complaint about something you posted, and you get warned about it without being told what post it was and given the chance to defend yourself. Perhaps it is time to speak to HR and tell them what is going on. Your manager can not fire you without going through the correct procedure with includes HR being involved.

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I decided to bite the bullet and remove all my co-workers from all social media sites. The only way people will be able to see what I post now is if they intentionally go looking for it. If that's what they want to do they have no right to complain.

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The problem is, you cannot control which 'friend' opens up their profile to the world, and/ or tags your comments/ photos to the world, and yes, no matter how many times I have been asked, I have never allowed work colleagues access, but again, friends of my friends are not in my sphere of influence so the whole issue of Friends only becomes quite mute.

 

So called FB security settings has more holes than a sieve.

 

 

CrankyCat

 

That's the part that people forget - all it takes is one person to screw up and/or not understand how the settings work and your stuff can get out to places you never imagined.  I'm not on FB, never have been, but I keep a close lid on who has my personal email address for just that reason.  I have a lot of accounts for gaming/twitter/stores/ that kind of thing, all with fake names/info.

 

I do know that my brother's workplace prohibits them from being on any kind of social media at all, so he's not on FB or twitter, any of that stuff.

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I decided to bite the bullet and remove all my co-workers from all social media sites. The only way people will be able to see what I post now is if they intentionally go looking for it. If that's what they want to do they have no right to complain.

I don't think that protects you at all, depending on what the nature of the offending material was.

Anything you post on social media is a public statement by you, no different than if you went on TV or radio to say it.

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If you set it so only those people you want to see it can see, then you have to bypass the permissions to view it, meaning you are breaking privacy rights to do so. Also, I view this on the same level I would someone bitching about porn on the net. Don't want to be offended, don't go trolling for it, since that means you are looking to be offended. Don't really have any sympathy for someone going out of their way to find something to bitch about it, that means they have no life.

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CrankyCat has it right on sooooo many levels.

 

Artamir92, stop behaving to the outside world and your company as if you are the victim. You have been labelled a harasser. You are now officially on the 'harasser' list. Your reputation is rekt.

 

Noone cares about if you really intended to offend or not. The offended person really is offended. You harrassed them. And trying to debunk that will only make you look like looking for excuses or playing down the aweful, horrid thing you did. You cause someone pain. Enough pain to expose that private part of their life and express that pain to their manager. That took the victim quite some courage.

 

Everyone sides on the victim. And no, that's not you.

 

Rightfully angry now? Feel the urge to prove this injustice and fight for it? LMFAO! Don't, you fool! If you are dumb enough to try and escalate this case, the company will gladly seize the opportunity and BURN YOU AT THE STAKE because you're a hypocrite harasser. What better opportunity can you provide them to proof they are serious as hell about their social policies?

 

 

 

Don't get me wrong. It's likely you just made a joke that someone didn't get. Or an opinion didn't come out in the words you actually meant to say and someone got it wrong.

 

But that is all moot. You are labelled a harasser. Welcome to your new world.  

 

I've been there too. I once made a stupid joke, long before the era of FB. A colleague who beyond my knowledge was struggling to get pregnant took it totally wrong, she never told me but told my boss. I don't even remember the joke. But my days at that company were numbered from that day, it was like the day all doors shut. They didn't fire me, they just started saying 'no' to everything I requested from them.

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I was given a formal warning at work in January because the recipient of my secret santa gift found it insulting! The present was a joke present, but it was in keeping with the jokes the recipient had been having with myself and others for months. I brought this up to management when they gave me the warning, and other members of staff even backed me up to say he had been making jokes like that to them too, but still the company had to side with him. And what made it worse was apparently he had a hissy-fit in the staff room and basically told everyone he only complained about me because he wanted to get back at the manager for telling him off for taking a day off he was not supposed to have. He didn't like the way he was spoken to so thought the only way he could get back at them was by complaining about his 'inappropriate' gift! And even with all this getting back to management, they still had to side with his complaint!

 

The best thing is to just not have anything to do with people like them. If you make an official complaint that someone has offended you, you will always be sided with by the company because the company is frightened of being sued. 

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