Last week, I gave a presentation for Sterling Education Services in Huntsville. In attendance were attorneys and HR professionals. The topic was Social Media and the impact it has in the workplace. During my research and preparation, I came across a number of interesting items. Among them are the following:
Who is Brian Downing? The Alabama fan who was arrested after a video of him went viral. The video was of him in a Krystals restaurant in New Orleans, following the BCS game, rubbing his genitalia on the face of a man passed out in the Krystals. He was charged with Sexual Assault. His employer, Hibbett Sports, terminated his employment as a result of his actions.
Who is Roland Martin? He is a CNN commentator, who, while watching the Super Bowl, saw the underwear commercial starring David Beckham, and tweeted, "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!#superbowl." Numerous complaints were made, including those by gay advocacy groups, claiming that the tweet was advocating violence against homosexuals. Martin was suspended from CNN for this tweet.
Who is Paul Withee? He was a middle school math and science teacher and high school football coach in Maine. He posted a nude photo of himself on Facebook: he says he intended to send the photo to a friend, but mistakenly made it public. It was only up for 10 minutes, but was seen by a parent who alerted school administrators. He was fired.
During the Daytona 500, Brad Keselowski was seen tweeting on the track during a 2 hour race stoppage as the result of an accident. He gained over 140,000 new followers as a result of the free publicity.
At a recent Manpower webinar, attendees were asked to text the one word that describes social media in today's workplace. Of 123 responses, the top 10, including ties, were:
- Necessary (35)
- Distracting (17)
- Dangerous (10)
- Helpful (8)
- Scary (8)
- Growing (6)
- Wasteful (6)
- Annoying (5)
- Complicated (5)
- Essential (5)
- Overwhelming (5)
- Time-consuming (5)
- Useful (5)
- Valuable (5)
It is interesting to note the almost equal split of positive and negative descriptions. It is here to stay, and employers must learn to make the most of it.
The New York Daily News recently published the results of a survey conducted by 11Mark. The survey showed that 75% of Americans take their cell phones into the bathroom, 87% of Android users admitted to talking, texting or surfing the web while in the bathroom, 75% of BlackBerry users answered the phone, while 48% made a call, and 52% of iPhone users participated in social networking and 57% used an app. Of those born between 1977 and 1993, 91% admitted using their phones while seated in a bathroom stall.
FaceBook has over 845 million users worldwide. Google+ believes it reached 100 million last month, and the numbers keep going up. Employers need a social media policy that is in compliance with state and federal laws, rules and regulations, including being compliant with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) which protects concerted activity concerning the terms and conditions of employment. Over the past year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been aggressively pursuing companies that discipline, including terminating, employees for social media activity that they deem to be protected by the NLRA.