Companies face problems with social media

“… LeMasters wasn’t clear about what to do when “someone called and told us we needed to take a look” at what an employee wrote on Facebook.

The employee “was basically trashing us online,” LeMasters found. The comments included profanity and derogatory things about the work and the owners.

“We had no way to know if that could have a negative impact on our business, but we knew we didn’t want it out there,” LeMasters said.

The world of Facebook, MySpace and YouTube postings is giving employers headaches. Often, employers like LeMasters are exploring on a case-by-case basis what rights they have to police employees’ blogs and social networking pages.

LeMasters and business partner Randy Benton quickly learned they had no constitutional right to fight the worker’s postings, but they did have a clear course because some of the Internet use had occurred at the store.

“We didn’t fire the employee because of what was said,” LeMaster said. “We fired the employee because the time spent online was in violation of the signed work contract.”

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