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Social media causes fallout in workplace, leads to potential dismissal
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Instagram selfies, Twitter hashtag-campaigns and funny Vines are normal parts of life on the Internet. So, don't be surprised if you find your boss monitoring your social media activity and taking you to task for something deemed inappropriate.

That happened for Andrs du Bouchet, a comic and staff writer for Conan OBriens show, who went on a Twitter rampage against a competing television host.

The rant, which seemed largely directed at the comedic style of Jimmy Fallon and 'The Tonight Show,' was ultimately deleted by du Bouchet, although not before several news outlets had written about it, reported Mashable.

After Bouchets angry tweet session, OBrien publically scorned the staff writer with a tweet of his own.

Bouchet still has a job but others may not be so lucky, especially if an employer is looking for a reason to fire someone.

The Bouchet episode highlights the on-going discussion regarding how much employers can and should monitor employees on social media.

It's becoming an increasingly important question, reported the Wall Street Journal. The number of people fired over social-media posts is rising, and many employers look closely at a job candidate's online presence before making a decision.

According to the journal, 39 percent of employers now look at a job applicants social media presence, 43 percent of employers did not hire someone based on content they found on social media while only 19 percent said that someones social media account was the reason why they hired someone.

Some advocates say employers should be doing even more than they are now to monitor social media they should keep an eye on workers' tweets and updates around the clock, the journal article stated. Privacy proponents and worker advocates say it's unnecessary. Most of what people post has nothing to do with work, they say and shouldn't be monitored unless there's a clear reason to suspect wrongdoing.

However, some employee social media posts may be protected under federal and state laws, which can also trump a company policy on social media use.

The National Labor Relations Act has long protected employees who use any avenue, including social media, to discuss working conditions, including pay and benefits, reported Forbes. Such protected concerted activity cannot support a termination. Importantly, however, this protection is not extended to employees who merely vent individual gripes. Nor does it protect categories of employees expressly excluded by the NLRA, such as supervisors.

Forbes reported that many state laws create additional protections for employees on social media.

New York, for example, prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions against employees who engaged, off-duty and off-premises, in (a) legal political activities; (b) legal use of consumable products; (c) legal recreational activities; and (d) membership in a union or exercise of rights relating to union activity, reported Forbes.
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