Stories about employers catching their staff online during working hours are nothing new but getting fired for it? It’s happening more often than you might think. Why?
Employees are posting YouTube videos about their companies that are, lets just say, less than positive reflections of the company. These social media faux pas are tough to manage when posted by customers but when posted by employees, they can be managed by terminating them. According to a study released by Proofpoint, Inc, 21% of companies have disciplined employees for violating social networking policies vs. 13% in 2008 and 9% of those companies had fired an employee for violating these same policies, up 5% from just two years ago.
Anyone having flashbacks to the Dominos Pizza YouTube video showing an employee sticking cheese up his nose and passing gas on the food? Yep, that’s what I’m referring to…not quite what Domino’s was thinking about.
# 1: Violate company policy
Matthew Azzano, an employee at Cuyahoga Hills Juvenile Correctional Facility in OH, was fired after he was found to be posting threatening and racial comments on his Facebook page. Why? It was a direct violation of company policy and procedure.
# 2: Badmouth your customers
Ashley Johnson, a former waitress in North Carolina, was fired for complaining about her customers on Facebook. “Thanks for eating at Brixx” she wrote before using profanity and calling the customers “cheap” in her post.
#3: Post inappropriate pics
A high school teacher in GA was forced to resign when her principal questioned her Facebook page, which included pictures of her holding wine, beer and an expletive.
# 4: Trash talk the boss
Common sense should rule here but, not in this case. A young lady in the UK was fired after she posted this on her Facebook page: “OMG, I HATE MY JOB!! My boss is a total pervvy (sic) w**ker, always making me do s**t stuff just to p**s me off!! W**ker!
The boss responded with a few comments of his own, ending with “And lastly, you also seem to have forgotten that you have two weeks left on your six-month trial period. Don’t bother coming in tomorrow. I’ll pop your P45 in the post and you can come in whenever you like to pick up any stuff you’ve left here. And, yes, I’m serious.”
# 5: Call in Sick, then Post about it
A Swiss insurance worker called in sick claiming she needed to lie in the dark and couldn’t sit in front of a computer all die. Problem? She was caught online, and on Facebook, by a colleague. Her boss fired her claiming she was untrustworthy rather than because of her Facebook activity.
Facebook and Twitter both posted year over year growth at over 50% which means you’re likely active on one, if not, both of these popular social networks. If you’re going to post, tweet, or socialize online, be savvy and use it to your advantage.