Facebooking about work: Maybe you can, but you still shouldn’t

September 8, 2011

I commonly advise people to think twice before posting anything on Facebook that might come back to haunt them at the office, and I stand by that advice as good common sense. Nonetheless, as digital communities become an ever larger part of our lives, society is struggling to adapt to what is and what isn’t permissible on the Web.

This month’s ruling from the National Labor Relations Board is the latest decision establishing that employees have the right to share their opinions about their jobs online. The NLRB determined that employees who were fired for alleged off-duty harrassment of another employee on Facebook must be rehired. That’s going to be awkward.

Despite this development, don’t lose sight of the fact that your conduct, whether online or offline, is likely to reflect on your employer even when you are not on the job. You may not be fired for what you share on the Internet, but posting something offensive could still be harmful to your company and your career.

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