Social media has led to more and more horror stories about friends or colleagues who’ve been punished for sharing opinions about their workplace. While griping about your boss to your 300 Facebook friends may feel really good, it might get you fired. If you work at Apple, it’s a virtual certainty.
The British government’s Employment Tribunal recently upheld the firing of an Apple store employee who posted negative comments about the stores and the company on Facebook. Why? Because Apple has a formal policy that prohibits negative comments posted to social media sites.
The offense was labeled as “gross misconduct,” and the worker, whose Facebook friend shared the comments with the store manager, is now looking for a new job.
The Tribunal said that,“Apple successfully argued that it was justified and proportionate to limit this right (of posting) in order to protect its commercial reputation against potentially damaging posts.” Apple retail employees are allowed to post on the Internet, but can’t include the Apple’s name or mention their employment at the company.
Now would be a good time to do a little research and find out if your company has a policy as clear-cut and stringent as Apple’s. Did you sign something when you were hired? Is it in the employee handbook? If you don’t feel like doing that digging, then your best course of action is probably to do something that may go against your nature and the very nature of social media: Censor yourself.