Over the decades, Facebook has grown far and wide to become a global platform where employers, employees, and clients interact. Brands leverage this social platform as a marketing channel whereas, hiring managers search for fresh hands here. For employees, this is a haven where you can share work experiences, frustrations and even seek fast-hand solutions from peers.
But, can your boss monitor your Facebook account and hold you accountable for your posting? To be concise and pragmatic, they can! However, the decision to punish or fire you for any post or comment you made is technical.
Is it Legal for Your Employers to Check Your Facebook Timeline?
Based on the interactive user interface Facebook employs, any person can associate with you. Unless you limit the visibility of your account to private, all the registered users on the platform can search your name, befriend, and message you. They can also troll your timeline for a catch of any update you published.
In the US, no law exempts employers from checking their employees out on Facebook. In some states, HR managers and bosses have permission to acquire the usernames and passwords of their employees. They can log into your account whenever they intend and grasp every single detail of what you do online.
Considering this narrative, it means that unless you change the settings, anyone can profile your account. The list includes your potential interviewers (should you see it fit to look for another opportunity), your workmates, clients, family, and any friend.
How to Limit My Employer from Trolling My Account
Facebook has a labyrinth of security features that you can use to privatize your account. Should you feel that you need to reserve your personal information at bay from the public domain, here is a detailed step to follow.
- On the setting tab, press the privacy tab.
- On the question about who can see your staff, choose friends. This hack will cut everyone out of your friend list from getting a glimpse of your account information.
- On who can contact me, answer with either friend of my friends or only me. The “only me” option will lock any registered user on Facebook to connect with you.
- Finally, on who can look at me, choose no. This way, no one will access your account.
Following these steps promptly will keep your account from the public domain. Most importantly, these adjustments do not limit you from sending friend requests and profiling other users’ timelines.
If you feel that this hack will raise your bosses’ eyebrows, you’ve got another way. Search for their respective accounts. Once you’re sure that you’ve gotten accounts they use most, navigate their profiles for the block button.
Any person you’ve blocked on Facebook cannot access your profile. Additionally, neither your employer nor you will be able to tag, comment, or post on one another’s timelines. They will not also see your comments or replies on posts you follow on mutual pages.
Only one setback exists; your employer or HR can use someone else’s account to access your timeline. So you may not be 100% safe, especially if your employer is obsessed with tracking your trail.
Can Your Employer Fire You For What You Post Online.
You’ve probably heard of staff members who complained online, only for their HR to fire them the next day. Even if you have an employment lawyer, those stories are justifications that you may not be safe.
The constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech, either on or offline. However, this law doesn’t detail the diction and kind of messages you should use online. Also, you can only enjoy the freedom when dealing with Government-owned offices, businesses, and parastatals.
If you work in a private-owned business, your employer dictates most of the things. So yes, your HR can fire you for a “sensitive” post or comment you publish on Facebook. Here is a list of circumstances under which your contract can face untimely demise.
- Sharing trade secrets
- Sharing identities of fellow employees without their consents
- Publishing homophobic, sexual, racist, and discriminatory information
- Sharing information that encourages subordination
- Sharing financial information
The regulations by The National Labor and Relations Board will protect you from venting on Facebook. It means your employer cannot fire you for:
- Reporting unconducive workplaces
- Reporting information about finding your work difficult
- Sharing information about unpleasant dress codes
- Talking about sub-par remunerations
- Reporting inhumanely supervisory guidelines
Other circumstances when the law will protect you from the wrath of your HR include:
- When you publish personal account updates during your off-duty hours
- When you express your political views
- When the employer fired you to retaliate
Facebook, like any other social platform, should be for the good of both employer and employee. It’s a conducive online environment that lets you interact and develop together. As such, it serves your right to keep it productive. Otherwise, if you suspect that your employer is trailing your track, we’ve shared what it takes to keep them at bay.