This week on the popular Ohio Employer’s Law Blog, lawyer Jon Hyman writes about what employers need to consider when drafting a social networking policy. In his “7 considerations,” Hyman points out the difficulties of drafting a policy that is reasonable and capable of being monitored and enforced. We previously wrote about the difficulties employers can face when they check out potential employees on social networking sites. Hyman addresses such questions as whether you even want to allow employees the right to access social networking sites; whether you do or don’t, how will you monitor it; and do you want your employees to identify with your business (e.g. many employers encourage their employees to join LinkedIn). Importantly, how will your social networking policy intersect with other corporate policies such as harassment or personal use of company technology.
We typically recommend that employers recognize that employees will use company computers and telephones for personal use. So instead of trying to implement prohibitions that can’t be enforced, employers are better off with policies that allow reasonable use and are capable of being monitored. Whenever new policies are put into place, employers should take the opportunity to review all HR policies.