OT and Social Media—‘Please Sue Me’

Yesterday’s  Advisor featured Hunter “Please Sue Me” Lott on HR and wage/hour challenges. Today, his tips for a social media policy, one more wage/hour nightmare, and an introduction to the HR audit guide that helps you find problems before the feds do.

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Social Media Policy Example

Lott (HunterLott.com) offered his tips at SHRM’s recent annual conference and exhibition in Chicago. Many of his clients are concerned about their social media policies, and Lott offers the following as a sample:

Personal websites and blogs have become prevalent methods of self-expression in our culture. The Company respects the right of employees to use these media during their personal time. However, if you as an employee choose to identify yourself as a Company employee on a website or blog, you should adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Make it clear to the readers that the views expressed are the employee’s alone and that they do not necessarily reflect the views of the Company.
  • Confine social networking to matters unrelated to the company, if necessary, to ensure compliance with securities regulations and other laws.

Employees are prohibited from using or disclosing confidential and/or proprietary information, including personal health information about customers or patients, and from discussing in any form of social media “embargoed information,” such as launch and release dates and pending reorganizations.

Employees are prohibited from posting or displaying comments about coworkers or supervisors or the employer that are vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating, harassing, or a violation of the employer’s workplace policies against discrimination, bullying, harassment, retaliation, or hostility on account of age, race, religion, sex, ethnicity, nationality, disability, or other protected class, status, or characteristic.

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Be careful not to let blogging interfere with your job or client commitments. You may be more likely to resolve complaints by speaking with coworkers or going through the Company, rather than posting grievances online.

If blogging activity is seen as compromising the Company, the Company may request a cessation of such commentary, and the employee may be subject to coaching and, potentially, disciplinary action. Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to interfere with employee rights to engage in discussions protected by law. For any questions about these guidelines or any matter related to personal websites or blogs, contact human resources.

One More Compensation Nightmare

Lott suggests that this scenario is more common than one might expect:

  • Manager: Even my lowest level people are on salary, so no sweat on overtime issues.
  • Lott: Sorry, you’re going to have to pay overtime to many of those people.
  • Manager: Since when?
  • Lott: 1938.

Wage/hour, social media, the list of ways your managers and supervisors can cause trouble is seemingly endless. How can you find out if they are following your policies?

There’s only one way to find out what sort of shenanigans are going on—regular audits.

The rub is that for most HR managers, it’s hard to get started auditing—where do you begin?

BLR’s editors recommend a unique product called HR Audit Checklists. Why are checklists so great? Because they’re completely impersonal, they force you to jump through all the necessary hoops one by one. They also ensure consistency in how operations are conducted. That’s vital in HR, where it’s all too easy to land in court if you discriminate in how you treat one employee over another.

HR Audit Checklists compels thoroughness. For example, it contains checklists both on Preventing Sexual Harassment and on Handling Sexual Harassment Complaints. You’d likely never think of all the possible trouble areas without a checklist; but with it, just scan down the list, and instantly see where you might get tripped up.

Using the “hope” system to avoid lawsuits? (As in: We “hope” we’re doing it right.) Be sure! Check out every facet of your HR program with BLR’s unique checklist-based audit program. Click here  to get HR Audit Checklists + a FREE special report.

In fact, housed in the HR Audit Checklists binder are dozens of extensive lists, organized into reproducible packets, for easy distribution to line managers and supervisors. There’s a separate packet for each of the following areas:

  • Staffing and training (incorporating Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rulings in recruiting and hiring, including immigration issues);
  • HR administration (including communications, handbook content, and recordkeeping);
  • Health and safety (including OSHA responsibilities);
  • Benefits and leave (including health cost containment, COBRA, FMLA, workers’ compensation, and several areas of leave);
  • Compensation (payroll and the Fair Labor Standards Act); and
  • Performance and termination (appraisals, discipline, and separation).

HR Audit Checklists is available to HR Daily Advisor readers for a no-cost, no-risk evaluation in your office for up to 30 days. Visit HR Audit Checklists,and we’ll be happy to arrange it.