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Social Media Violations in the Workplace

The privacy of your employees is important and employers have to be very careful. This includes social media accounts. Most employers know that they should not ask for login information of an employee. But what exactly does the law state regarding social media employee checks? It depends, in part, on the privacy laws of your state. It also depends on whether you’re conducting an inquiry on an existing employee or a new employee.

Social Media Background Checks for Pre-Employment

Hiring new employees? You can run a social media background check but you must get permission from the prospect before you do so. This is mandatory per FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act). Some states also require specific disclosures as well. An FCRA compliant third party company will review and flag social media content in four business related categories:

  • Racist, Sexist, or Discriminatory Behavior
  • Sexually Explicit Material
  • Threats or Acts of Violence
  • Potentially Illegal Activity

Social Media Privacy Laws in Employment: 50-State Survey

It is important to understand the privacy laws when it pertains to social media by state as well. There is no federal law preventing employers from asking for employees’ or applicants’ social media usernames and passwords, or requiring employees or applicants to share any social media information that is not publicly available. However, a little over half of the states have enacted laws to protect employees and applicants in this situation. (

Workplace Harassment and Social Media

Most employers don’t even realize that they may be liable for workplace harassment online. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is a federal law that was enacted in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers and to encourage collective bargaining. Enforced by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the law protects the rights of employees to act together to address work conditions, whether or not they are part of a union. The protection covers work-related conversations conducted on social media.

An example of this is any publicly available post in social media in which a co-worker is being sexually harassed or placing derogatory statements away from the workplace. It is tough to keep a handle on it. One of the first lines of defense is to develop a workplace social media policy. Make sure all employees are aware of what it states.

Examples of social media violations in the workplace

Social media violations in the workplace can encompass a wide range of behaviors that are inappropriate, unprofessional, or potentially harmful to the work environment. Here are some examples:

Sharing Confidential Information: Posting sensitive company information, trade secrets, financial data, or proprietary information on social media platforms without authorization.

Harassment and Bullying: Using social media to target, harass, or bully colleagues, supervisors, or other individuals within or outside the organization.

Discriminatory Remarks: Making discriminatory comments, including those related to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other protected characteristics, which can create a hostile work environment.

Defamation and Libel: Making false or damaging statements about the company, coworkers, or management that could harm their reputation or result in legal consequences.

Negative Publicity: Sharing negative opinions, complaints, or criticism about the company, products, or services, which could potentially harm the company’s image or business relationships.

Social Media Deep Web Scan

There may be times when you need to conduct some research into an employee. Perhaps their behavior at work is sending up some red flags, or you see a difference in their attitude towards fellow employees.

This is the time HR should get involved and perhaps take a closer look at what is publicly available online. At eChatter, a division of Ann Michaels & Associates, we offer this service to our clients. We work with Corporations, Private Investigators and Attorneys across the US.

We offer two types of scans, but for this purpose we would recommend a deep web scan. This is your best bet, especially when dealing with potential theft of services or goods for reselling purposes.

Contact us for more information.


Which is more important? Customer Experience (CX) or Employee Experience (EX)

Many professionals would argue that both are important. So is this a trick question? Which experience should take precedence?

It turns out companies with a balanced emphasis on the customer and the employee’s experiences position themselves in the sweet spot with the most potential for exceptional results.

It is difficult to provide a positive customer experience when the employee experience is negative. Unhappy employees don’t usually bring their best effort to the job. And that can adversely affect the customer experience.

So start from the inside and work your way out. Start by focusing on the employee experience. Then move quickly to the customer experience and create a balance where both are kept as top priorities.

Employee Experience

What’s at stake with the employee experience? If employees hate their job, their negative attitude will affect every aspect of their performance…which includes dealing with customers. If they dislike their job enough to quit, you will spend more of your valuable time and energy recruiting new help and then training and onboarding them.

On the other hand, if an employee has a positive and rewarding work environment they are more likely to be happier and perform better. It’s a proven fact that happy employees do better work.

Ask yourself this question…Why would someone want to work for our company?

It goes to the way employees are treated, but also directly ties to customer experience. Without happy employees you will not have engaged employees. And a lack of engagement can impact customer experience. Take a look at the list of the best places to work for and the companies with the best customer service and you are guaranteed to see an overlap.


Customer Experience

We all know negative news spreads faster than positive news, especially now with the prevalence of social media. If a customer has a poor experience, not only will they never return but they are more than likely going to leave a negative review, which will keep others from ever giving you a shot.

Customers are more than happy to tell friends, family, or anyone who will listen to avoid your business.

On the other hand, if a customer has a positive experience, they’ll become a repeat customer. In turn, they will refer others to you, which is the best kind of advertising!

Ask yourself this…Why should someone do business with me?

What makes us better than our competition? What do we do differently…and does it affect customer experience?

Finding Balance

What is happening on the inside of a company can definitely be felt on the outside by customers. But as much as you focus on creating a positive customer service experience, the same effort needs to be made to enhance the working environment for employees.




“Our Customer Service is Broken”


These were the words shared by McDonald’s last week during a webconference with franchisees. The company has been struggling as of late, and an increase of complaints has not helped.


While there were some complaints related to food quality, these were overshadowed by the other complains related to customer service and employee attitude. Namely, the most complaints revolved around:


1. Rude or unprofessional employees

2. Orders taking too long to be prepared


These are some major factors in customer service, and while McDonald’s continues to be a frontrunner in the industry, continued complaints and service related issues can hurt them in the long run.
One of their challenges lies in the franchised based system – it’s difficult sometimes to ensure all franchisees are holding the same standards as corporate does, and to make sure that all operational procedures are being strictly adhered to.


This increase in complaints has definitely gotten their attention, and they will be working hard to overcome the challenges, improve service levels, and get back to where they used to be as far as customer service and satisfaction.


What can a company do when this happens? Since an increase in complaints signals concern, there are some steps that can be taken to pinpoint, address, and fix issues:


1. Determine if it’s a company-wide or regional problem. It might be there are only some locations that are showing signs of concern, or it may be a particular region. Start with these areas and talk with district managers who are responsible for these locations; has there been a change in any way? Is the manager seeing similar issues when visiting locations? It’s time to work with management for a clear review and observation to pinpoint issues.


2. Look for training opportunities. There may be a slew of new staff that may not have been trained properly, or a similar issue causing the decreased service levels. Determine if additional training is needed.


3. Ramp up your mystery shopping program. Check to see that you’re measuring the right aspects of the business. With franchises especially, it can be difficult to get buy in, especially if corporate offers mystery shopping services at the franchisee’s expense.


If you’re not doing so, it might be time to incorporate an incentive program tied to the mystery shopping program. Rewarding good service can increase its likelihood.


4. Talk to your employees. if you’re seeing a decline in service across a particular location, region, or even company wide, implement an anonymous employee feedback survey to ask employees for their thoughts and opinions regarding their work, their satisfaction, and ask for suggestions for improvement. Based on responses, this could be a great starting point for additional conversations with your employees, or signal the need for more or different training to give your employees a chance to be successful in their work.


Employee morale and work satisfaction have a direct correlation to customer service levels; when your company is seeing an increase in customer complaints, it’s time to start paying attention.