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MANAGING STAFF

Model Policy: Computer use and social networking

Why you need this policy:

The law governing your right to discipline employees for the things they say on blogs and social networks is still in its infancy stages. But even from the early cases, it has become clear that online conversations are not simply private matters. There’s a big difference between bad-mouthing a company, supervisor or colleague to a friend over coffee and making those remarks in a blog or correspondence on an external social network like Facebook.

How this policy helps you:

Having the right to take action against employees for social networking and other online activities, even if those activities take place while the employee is off-duty and at home, is one thing; exercising it effectively is another. To exercise those rights effectively, you must have the right social networking policy. Better yet, implementing a policy like the Model Policy below should help you prevent employees from engaging in social networking abuses in the first place.

How to use this policy:

The Model Policy illustrates what to include in a computer use and social networking policy. But you’ll need to modify to reflect the rules, standards, and procedures followed at your own practice.

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