Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The NY Times 'Ethicist': Social Media and Harassment

As chance would have it, a letter on 'The Ethicist' page of 'The New York Times' this past Sunday deals with the ethics of an employer seeking to regulate employees' postings on social media sites.

The letter posits an extreme example. But the principles that I have been arguing remain the same:

1) Postings by employees must be shown significantly and unavoidably to be impacting the workplace and co-workers, before an employer gets involved.

2) If harassment is alleged, then it must be objectively demonstrable that the employee feels harassed in the workplace, before an employer get involved. It's not enough for an employee simply to say, I feel harassed. Not if the harassment is not taking place in the workplace.

3) The fullest opportunity should be given to the allegedly offending employee to cease and desist before any disciplinary action is taken.

And yes, this little gem is winging its way to the WSM corporate office management team as well ...