Crossing the line with off-duty online posts

Posts employees make online can potentially drag the employer into their affairs and warrant discipline or dismissal
By Adrian Jackibchuk and Matthew Badrov
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 03/20/2013

Status update: You’re in trouble

It’s difficult to avoid social media and online interaction. Many employees check their personal emails and do some Internet surfing at work. Employers can regulate this with clear policies that set limits to the time and resources employees use so the employer isn’t negatively affected.

However, sometimes the online activities of employees after hours can affect the employer as well. If an employee posts a comment or blog online that some people find offensive or affects other employees, and they can be identified as an employee of the company, there can be negative consequences to the employer’s reputation and workplace. What can the employer do in such circumstances?