On the third day of Christmas ........a little bird tweeted “Loose lips sink ships”. Be careful what you post on social media sites

Posted on 05 December 2012

Social Media and the Office Christmas Party – Loose lips sink ships

The Festive Season is a time for partying. However, after the party has ended, don’t let a poorly thought through Facebook post or a Tweet haunt you or worse still, come back and bite you at work on Monday. If you are prone to tweeting or posting from events you attend, consider just what you send whilst at the Office Christmas Party.

How long is it since you have checked your privacy settings? Many of the social media sites update their setting’s criteria regularly and what was secure a few months ago, may not be now. Who have you given access to? Who is following you and who can see what? It is also very worthwhile to reacquaint yourself with the latest laws surrounding social media.

Consider what you are posting from the Office Christmas party. Everyone relaxes at a party and sending an inappropriate message about your boss or a co-worker, or a photo which may seem hilarious for you to share with your friends at the time may start a chain reaction you never planned on. The person you least want to see it, probably will and in the harsh light of day when you return to work on Monday, you will have to front the person you have offended. Even if the person at the centre of your post is not a “friend”, someone will make sure they see it. You can never count on who knows who and through whom. Many a case exists where an employee has posted negative comments about their boss, not remembering they were a Facebook friend, or a connection of their boss is a ‘friend’ on your social media account only to find themselves suddenly without their job.

During the recruitment process, employers and recruiters often check Social Medial sites. Whilst you may have your privacy settings set correctly, your friends may not. Photos or comments you share thinking they are just sent to a select few, could be seen by people you don’t even know. These people will not necessarily care who they share with or where they re-post to.

It should also be remembered that many businesses have social medial policies. Even at the Christmas Party, you may well be breaking the bounds of that policy should you post about your work or it’s staff members. Remember, discriminatory remarks, harassment, threats or inappropriate postings are as relevant to your employment at the Christmas Party as they are during work hours.

We hope you all enjoy the 2012 festive season but should you find yourself with an employment issue, contact Dooley and Associates and one of our Employment Law Team will be happy to assist you with your matter.