Social media has an impact on all walks of our life. This also includes employment law. In particular, there are three significant areas under employment law that social media affects. This includes recruitment, termination as well as employee monitoring.
Many employers post job openings and advertisements on social media platforms. So, a positive effect is that social media has provided more avenues for hiring managers and employers to seek talent for their organisations.
However, employers need to be careful to avoid discriminatory practices when using social media for recruitment. For example, using targeted ads on social media platforms that exclude certain groups could be seen as discriminatory.
Depending on the industry and organisation that one works in, employers may terminate employees on the basis of their social media activity. For instance, employers may find some content to be offensive or inappropriate, and that reflects the company in a poor light, and they may terminate the contract of the employee.
However, employers must be respectful of the rights of employees in expressing their voice and opinions on social media. Employers must not engage in conduct that can violate the employee’s rights to free speech. Social media has raised concerns about employees’ free speech rights. wotpost
Employers must be careful not to retaliate against employees who engage in protected speech on social media or violate their rights. This is especially so when the employee is expressing their opinions on a matter that does not concern the company or employer.
3. Employee Monitoring
As mentioned above, employers may choose to monitor social media activity. But if this causes the employer to infringe on the privacy and rights of the employee, this is a negative effect of social media.
Other Impacts of social media
Overall, social media has had a significant impact on employment law, and employers need to be careful to comply with relevant laws and regulations when using social media in the workplace.
Social media has also led to concerns about protection of intellectual property (IP). This is particularly the case when employees use social media to share confidential or proprietary information.
Employers must have policies in place to prevent employees from sharing sensitive information on social media and must take swift action to address any breach of policies.
John Bui is the Principal Solicitor of JB Solicitors – a law firm based in Sydney, Australia. John is a Nationally Accredited family law Mediator and Arbitrator with over 10 years’ experience in family law and commercial litigation.