Social media activity by employees

Keeping track of employee who identifies herself as an employee on social media
By Lorenzo Lisi
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 01/09/2013

Question: If an employee lists herself as an employee of the company on her personal social media account, does the employer have any right to monitor the employee’s online activity or request certain standards to be maintained?

Answer: The use of what is broadly defined as “social media” by employees has created new risks in the workplace. These include potential damage to a company’s reputation — where employees either casually or with intent make and post comments about the workplace, customers or suppliers), loss of confidential company information, and potential loss of productivity.

The use and control of an employee’s use of social media as it relates to employment goes beyond whether an employer can monitor an employees’ social media account and record what she is saying about the workplace. It centres around whether that conduct can be worthy of discipline, despite the fact that it can be done on the employee’s own time.