Post On Facebook, Risk Your Job

MJS

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http://www.courant.com/community/west-hartford/hc-west-hartford-policy-0630-20100629,0,2725882.story

WEST HARTFORD — —
There is freedom of speech. And then, in the Facebook and Twitter world, there is embarrassing your employer.

If you work for the West Hartford school system and can't resist telling (or showing) the world what a raucous time was had on Friday night, think of it this way: Under a proposed school board policy, you could be endangering your job.

On the advice of the board's attorney, Thomas Mooney, board members agreed earlier this month to table a final vote on Policy 4080, "Public Communications By Employees," until after the summer so that revisions can be made.

But board Vice Chairman Terry Schmitt, a member of the committee that proposed the policy, said Tuesday that even if the language is tweaked to satisfy district lawyers, the focus would be the same. Whether it's an unhinged manifesto or a scandalous, public Facebook photo, the question for employees is: "Does it have a negative, or compromising, impact on your ability to teach in the classroom?"

If a middle or high school teacher is shown in a "wildly inebriated state," and students see it, that answer might be yes, Schmitt said.

"It really is no different from the kinds of things that are discussed with incoming teachers and reviewed at the start of the school year," added Schmitt, who said there were no particular incidents that spurred the policy.

Well, this should really be a no-brainer, but sometimes people dont think before they speak, or in this case, before they post. I've viewed peoples FB profiles, pics and anything else they have open for anyone to view, and wow, I have to say, that I've seen some rather interesting pics.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you feel that employers have the right to possibly terminate an employee due to a FB pic?
 

Touch Of Death

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http://www.courant.com/community/west-hartford/hc-west-hartford-policy-0630-20100629,0,2725882.story



Well, this should really be a no-brainer, but sometimes people dont think before they speak, or in this case, before they post. I've viewed peoples FB profiles, pics and anything else they have open for anyone to view, and wow, I have to say, that I've seen some rather interesting pics.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you feel that employers have the right to possibly terminate an employee due to a FB pic?
Yes.
 

Bob Hubbard

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Could be worse. Could get fired for being an "immoral slut" because you got preggers before you were married.
 
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MJS

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I'm split on this. Part of me says, what you do, on your own time, providing that your actions do not interfere with your job, then by all means, party your *** off. The other part of me says, right or wrong, people are, and do, judge you by your actions. Is it proper, if you're a school teacher, to post pics, of your and your friends, partying it up on a Friday night, making out with each other, dancing on the bar, and in general acting stupid. LOL. For clarification regarding the underlined part...if you wish to have a drink with dinner each night, fine, but, if you can't control your alcohol intake, and show up to school with a hang-over and are incapable of teaching a productive class, then yes, thats interferring with your job.

However, in this case, it looks like the school board is looking to enact a specific policy, so if thats the case, then yeah, you better watch what you're doing. I mean really...do you want all of your private life made public?
 

girlbug2

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MJS agreed, what you do on your own time should not impact your job unless it impedes your ability to do your job.

The question is, would a picture of a teacher getting drunk at a party negatively affect their ability to teach that class full of kids? I think yes. It's one thing to have a private life, it's another to publicly brag about it. Facebook is a forum for publicly bragging.

But then another question would be, should it make a difference if that photo were posted by the teacher him/herself, or if it was a seemingly candid shot posted by a third party without the teacher's knowledge or permission?

I think no, because it opens a whole can of worms about people getting petty revenge on eachother by posting compromising pics of their enemies, plus who's to say that somebody couldn't have cleverly photoshopped a person's picture to make it look damning.
 

Thesemindz

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People working for the government should be entitled to no rights at all. They are contributing to a system of oppression and are paid in stolen capital.

But employers working in the private sector have every natural right to restrict who they choose to engage economically, for whatever reason or no reason at all, including what they post on facebook.

If an employer wants to say he doesn't wish to do business with a person who get's drunk on friday nights and brags about it, that is their right.

Because it is their property, and their capital, and their time which are in discussion. And when you exert force against another person to restrict their absolute freedom of association, you make them a slave.

No one has the right to enslave another to his will.

Now, I think it's kind of a dick move on the part of the employers, and I might choose not to work for an employer who did so, and if the overall desire in the labor market was against this kind of thing, it could not naturally exist. So it's not really a problem.

Yes, some people may lose their jobs as our culure grows and learns to interact with and understand this new era of communication and technology. You think that's the first time this has happened? There will be an adjustment. People will put things online that are more than their employers can accept, and employers will overreact to every little thing because they lack the understanding and experience to have better judgement.

But by and large people will figure it out, and companies will find ways to profit off of selling you privacy your boss can't access, and employers and employees will get a better idea about what is and is not a real potential problem, and will gradually adjust their actions accordingly. This is a problem with a short life span.

The company I work for can fire me for substance abuse, driving violations, and displaying their logo in a negative manner. In reality, they can fire me for any reason at any time, but those are specifically in the contract. I accept those terms and work there, knowing from the day I am hired what the contractual terms of our agreement are. From there, I am free to make my choice. I can,
abide by the contract, or
break the contract.
Both are perfectly legitimate decisions on my part, which likely have different results. I may get caught, I may not. I may get fired, I may keep my job. But the reality of the situation is that I entered into a contract, and then made a decision. All my right. But if and when I choose to break that contract, I can't then rationally complain that the other party would no longer honor their obligations. What follows are simple natural consequences.

Take what you want, and pay for it.



-Rob
 

RandomPhantom700

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Well yeah, some of this seems like a "well duh" statement....be careful what you put on your facebook profile if it might affect your job. But just to throw a curve ball, one thing that alarms me on the subject is that not all of the pictures on your Facebook profile are pictures posted by you. Went to a fair, or nightclub, or houseparty and someone had a camera? You might get home later and find new photos on your profile that you didn't even take.

I know people have to be conscientious about their actions and what they publish. But that aspect of Facebook in particular, I think, blurs the lines between personal responsibility and false-light claims.
 

Bruno@MT

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People working for the government should be entitled to no rights at all. They are contributing to a system of oppression and are paid in stolen capital.
-Rob

Yeah, they should have no rights at all, and life would be just so much better without government at all, because people are by nature well meaning, honest and upstanding. They would not abuse each other or put others knowingly at risk so there is really no need for a legislative branch, law enforcement, environment protection agency, etc... because companies really care about people and they wouldn't do them wrong if there was no oversight.
 

chaos1551

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Most employment in the USA is "at will" meaning that you can quit or be fired for any reason at any time (barring civil laws).

Facebook is a public site and what you allow others to see there is the same as going to work and showing it to everyone in the middle of the office (or wherever you work). You should be ready to accept the consequences of your level of responsibility to yourself and your job.

As time goes on, we will get used to how the online world affects us socially and the pictures on Facebook might not have an effect on your job at the toothpaste factory, but it will likely still have an effect on your job working with kids.

My advise? Make your profile private and don't friend anyone you work with. Or just don't use it. No brainer.
 

Bob Hubbard

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I use FB as a "random stream". Means you'll find a political rant, a Carlin joke, or pics of a puppy, whatever's on my mind at the time.

You won't find my complaining about clients, employers, my wife, etc.
I edit and delete tons of comments from others that I don't want on there. Same goes for the pics folks include me in, etc. I've delinked dozens of ahh, questionable, shots, just because.

Now, I'm not worried my "boss" will find out....I'm self employed. But some things just don't need to be blasted out in public. My political commentary's cost me a few friends, possibly a client or 2, and I've had a few tell me to "cool it". I've lessened my postings on those topics, but, it's the exception to the "don't post religion/politics" bit I allow myself, and am aware of the consequences.

People who post drunk shots, stoned shots, etc....and don't think they'll haunt em, is just stupid in my opinion. Especially when you have your boss/client on your list, blew them off with an "Im sick" or "My car died" excuse, them up goes the note how hard you partied last night, or that you're off to the movies right now.
 

CanuckMA

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Beyond your current employer, prospective employers will do an on-line check on you. You may never know why, while perfect for the job, you never even got the interview, or the call back.

Personal responsibility, people.
 

Touch Of Death

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People who post drunk shots, stoned shots, etc....and don't think they'll haunt em, is just stupid in my opinion. Especially when you have your boss/client on your list, blew them off with an "Im sick" or "My car died" excuse, them up goes the note how hard you partied last night, or that you're off to the movies right now.
That reminds me. There is an very large list of people who have posted videos of them and their friends drinking Robittussin or smoking Salvia. That going to haunt those people for life.
Sean
 
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MJS

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MJS agreed, what you do on your own time should not impact your job unless it impedes your ability to do your job.

The question is, would a picture of a teacher getting drunk at a party negatively affect their ability to teach that class full of kids? I think yes. It's one thing to have a private life, it's another to publicly brag about it. Facebook is a forum for publicly bragging.

Good points. :) IMO, if you have a job, where the spotlight could potentially be shining on you, I'd think that you should watch your actions. Problem is, is that nowadays, with cell phones that can snap pics and video, you never know who's filimg who...or or what.

But then another question would be, should it make a difference if that photo were posted by the teacher him/herself, or if it was a seemingly candid shot posted by a third party without the teacher's knowledge or permission?

I think no, because it opens a whole can of worms about people getting petty revenge on eachother by posting compromising pics of their enemies, plus who's to say that somebody couldn't have cleverly photoshopped a person's picture to make it look damning.

Good points. It'd be interesting to know if someone took a pic of someone, either with or without the other persons permission, is the 'victim' for lack of better words, able to press any charges on the picture taker? I'm thinking along the lines of slander or harrassment, etc.
 
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MJS

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Well yeah, some of this seems like a "well duh" statement....be careful what you put on your facebook profile if it might affect your job. But just to throw a curve ball, one thing that alarms me on the subject is that not all of the pictures on your Facebook profile are pictures posted by you. Went to a fair, or nightclub, or houseparty and someone had a camera? You might get home later and find new photos on your profile that you didn't even take.

I know people have to be conscientious about their actions and what they publish. But that aspect of Facebook in particular, I think, blurs the lines between personal responsibility and false-light claims.

Good point. While surfing FB, I'll see some of my friends, that're 'tagged' in someone elses picture. IMO, its pretty simple...watch what you're doing. Someone snaps a shot of me sitting on the couch with a few other friends, no biggie. Someone snaps a shot of me on the same couch with a drink in each hand and 6 girls lifting their shirts...well.....:D
 
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MJS

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I use FB as a "random stream". Means you'll find a political rant, a Carlin joke, or pics of a puppy, whatever's on my mind at the time.

You won't find my complaining about clients, employers, my wife, etc.
I edit and delete tons of comments from others that I don't want on there. Same goes for the pics folks include me in, etc. I've delinked dozens of ahh, questionable, shots, just because.

Now, I'm not worried my "boss" will find out....I'm self employed. But some things just don't need to be blasted out in public. My political commentary's cost me a few friends, possibly a client or 2, and I've had a few tell me to "cool it". I've lessened my postings on those topics, but, it's the exception to the "don't post religion/politics" bit I allow myself, and am aware of the consequences.

People who post drunk shots, stoned shots, etc....and don't think they'll haunt em, is just stupid in my opinion. Especially when you have your boss/client on your list, blew them off with an "Im sick" or "My car died" excuse, them up goes the note how hard you partied last night, or that you're off to the movies right now.

Agreed. We've had some FB issues at my place of employment, which resulted in losing access to it, which IMO, is no biggie for me, as I havent updated my status and rarely post anyways. Some people that were working as well as some that were not working at the time, began bashing some other city employees. Kids'll be kids, but then again, we're talking about adults here. Guess some people need to grow the **** up! :D You never know who's watching.
 

chaos1551

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Good point. While surfing FB, I'll see some of my friends, that're 'tagged' in someone elses picture. IMO, its pretty simple...watch what you're doing. Someone snaps a shot of me sitting on the couch with a few other friends, no biggie. Someone snaps a shot of me on the same couch with a drink in each hand and 6 girls lifting their shirts...well.....:D

Is this something that happens to you a lot?
 

Bob Hubbard

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It's happened to me a few times......well, not the drinking, and it wasn't 6 girls, maybe 3, and...... I might be sharing too much on the internet again huh? :D
 
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MJS

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Is this something that happens to you a lot?

LMFAO!! I wish. Seriously though....that was just an example...a poor one, as I put myself in that. :) Actually, I have very few pics on my FB acct. As for parties and putting myself in awkward positions....I have no issues with going out, and having a good time. I just avoid the awkward positions. Problem is, is that some people can't go out, without acting like a fool. Its those people whos actions will come back to haunt them.
 

Bob Hubbard

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Good thing no one ever posts what happens at our annual M&G's online......;)
 
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MJS

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Good thing no one ever posts what happens at our annual M&G's online......;)

Just like Vegas....what goes on at the M&Gs, stays at the M&Gs. LOL!
 
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