Employees’ actions reflect on their employers

Kenan Jackson

With the boom in social media and other types of technologies, employers now have access to employee’s personal information that they could not have had 20 years ago.

Many employers make their employees sign code of conduct contracts that state they can be held responsible for any inappropriate actions that take place inside and outside the workplace. An employee is a representative for the company both during their work day and in their private life. Anything that they post on the internet including sites like Facebook and Twitter can be used against you, especially if it violates the code of conduct contract.

Lewis Maltby, author of “Can They Do That?” states: “The list of things a corporation can’t do is a short one — it’s basically confined to eavesdropping on a personal oral conversation. Anything else is open season.”

The state of California is an “at will” state, meaning you can get fired at anytime for any reason unrelated to age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. The employee has almost no legal rights.

According to nolo.com, “If you are employed at will, your employer does not need good cause to fire you.”

In a recent case, the NFL has indefinitely suspended Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice, due to an altercation he had with his wife inside of an elevator. According to multiple news reports and video footage obtained by TMZ Rice’s wife was knocked unconscious by Rice inside of an elevator.

As a NFL player, Rice has thousands of young fans which are under age and look up to him as a role model. Keeping him on the roster would have sent out the wrong message to the younger fans and the public.

According to USA Today, Rice is currently appealing the suspension.

In another NFL related incident Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson was suspended for one game after allegations of child abuse were reported. Peterson stated, “I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.”

According to iiamk.com, the 2007 Electronic Monitoring & Surveillance Survey (AMA, 2008) cited some reasons for firing employees including violation of company policy (64 percent); inappropriate or language (62 percent); excessive personal use of computers (26 percent); breach of confidentiality rules.

Whether employees are in a entry level position or in a high level position, employers should have the right to police their actions. The day a worker accept a position of employment, they take an oath to represent the company in a positive form from the moment they wake up to the moment you go to bed.

The next time an employee knows they’re going to have a wild night out on the town, it’s their responsibility to put away their phone and not post anything to Facebook or Twitter that can be used against them by their employer.