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Social media guidelines for Virginia employee handbooks

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023 | Employment Law For Employees |

In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. This technology can straddle the lines between personal and professional spheres as people engage with and share opinions online about their employers.

It is important to understand what Virginia employers may include in social media guidelines for their employees.

Employee conduct on social media platforms

While many adults complain about the negative effects of social media, a recent Pew Research Center study found that 69% of adults report ever using Facebook, and 81% report ever using YouTube. This high percentage of use is why many companies include social media guidelines in employee handbooks.

Employers can explain the rules for how employees should behave on social media. Even though employees can share their thoughts, employers might stress that being polite and professional when talking about the company is important.

Confidentiality and proprietary information

Employers can tell their workers not to share secret company information on social media. They can explain that revealing how the company works and information about its customers or projects could get them into trouble. This is because it goes against the company’s interests.

Disclaimers about personal opinions

It makes sense for employers to include disclaimers. They can stress that employees’ social media posts, even when mentioning the company, represent personal opinions. This helps everyone understand that the employee’s views may not reflect the official stance of the company.

Policy on negative remarks

To keep a good image, employers can ask employees to avoid saying bad things about the company, colleagues or clients on social media.  Encouraging helpful feedback and discouraging harmful language promotes a positive online environment.

Social media policy compliance

Employers may stress the importance of compliance with the company’s social media policies. Handbook language may notify employees that violations of the policy may lead to disciplinary action.

By promoting responsible social media behavior, companies can strike a balance between respecting employees’ freedom of expression and protecting their interests in the digital realm.