Sunday, September 20, 2009

Even Saying Good Things About Others Online Can Come Back to Haunt You

Due to our litigious society, anything you say, whether it is good or bad has the ability to come back to haunt you. Before Social Media websites become vogue, most people would obtain a written recommendation from a boss and/or ask a colleague or friend to act as a reference. To ensure that a potential hire was being honest about their background, a recruiter or potential employer might contact your former supervisor for verification of your employment.
On LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media websites, a boss and/or colleague can easily recommend you or become a fan of yours and provide a recommendation for all users to view. In theory this sounds great because it has the potential to cut down on the costs of employment verification and due diligence. However, a problem may arise when an employee is terminated and the official reason provided is poor performance while the boss recently sang the employee's praises on a social media website. This type of conflicting information raises a red flag for labor lawyers.

Therefore, the best policy is to be reserved in your social media communications with your employees, supervisors, and/or colleagues. If an employee requests a recommendation an employer should feel free to act as personal reference since the employer has the ability to change their mind about the employee/former employee down the road. However, when acting as an online reference, the employer may not have full control over the reference after it has been posted and this lack of control has the potential to cause future potential problems.

Copyright 2009 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.