Social Sites are being used by employers to determine whether or not to hire a potential employee. They are also being used when determining whether or not to let a person go.
A citizen of a country that takes pride in personal freedom and the freedom of speech being constitutionally protected makes me want to say this isn’t right. How can we be punished for what we say when fundamentally our speech is constitutionally protected, we have the right to freedom of speech; however, especially after being hired we enter into an agreement with our employers. In part that agreement is built on trust and should contain respect to the organization for which we work for and represent. As employees and associates of the organization we work for we too represent the moral and ethical values of the organization. Years ago I would have been dead set against any action that I perceived as violating anyone’s freedom of speech; however, even the freedom of speech can be taken too far and breach the agreements we enter into with our employers. For example, most employers offer drug free work environments, it is ethical and moral and provides a safe work environment for all employees. Now what sense does it make for an employee of a drug free work environment to openly brag on a social network, for the whole world to see about his or her drug use? Not only does it contradict the ideology of providing a safe drug free work environment, but it is also embarrassing to the employer and should be embarrassing to the individual, but that does not stop these types of occurrences from happening.
Yes, a company should have the right to be selective about the types of individuals it chooses to hire. I am more set against employers using one’s credit history against a potential employee when his or her credit history has nothing to do with the job duties. This is especially true in economic hard times when many individuals have fallen on hard times and unable to keep up financially. How else are we to expect individuals to catch up paying his or her bills and to get off public assistance? Just seems like an oxymoron too me.
Not only should employer’s have the right to monitor and fire individuals for the content of materials posted on social networks, but in some cases they are morally, ethically, and legally responsible to do so. Individuals working for companies that have defense contracts, for example, have entered into an agreement with the employer that what they see, hear, and do at work must remain secret. My father worked for a company that exclusive worked on defense contracts. Not only is he entered into a contract with the employer that he cannot share information with anyone else for two years after leaving the company, but he is also held liable by Homeland Security. What he knows can potentially present danger to the citizens of our nation if he were to do something like post any information on a social network and it has happened.
Furthermore, health care facilities are responsible for protecting the privacy of the patients it cares for, morally, ethically, and legally. I have seen it happen several times resulting in disgrace and legal actions against an organization that an employee, a representative of the organization disclose information about a patient through the use of social media and networks. On many other occasions I have seen disclosing patient information posted on social networks go unnoticed. We all say we want our personal information protected, including information about our health. Does an individual’s freedom of speech trump that right and give the individual the right to disclose our information, any of it?
Derrick Quealiany is a writer for various blogs. He has a degree in english and loves to read in his spare time. He is also an avid outdoors man who loves to hunt and fish. Check out his work on email marketing and getresponse