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Social Media Sleuths


Peter Gillespie, of the Chicago office, was interviewed for the February 6 Human Resource Executive Online article “Social Media Sleuths.” The article reported that many HR professionals are finding social media a useful tool in identifying employee job-related misconduct. Employers are finding they can use social media to help prove employee deception and fraud and to defend themselves against workplace lawsuits. Peter said looking at social media sites is becoming more common and HR officials are remiss if they don't investigate complaints arising from employee posts on social networking sites. His advice is to proceed with caution: “If an employee comes to you with incriminating information gleaned via social media about a co-worker, ask him or her to provide you with a printout of the page or pages in question. Don't ask for a password, and don't engage in "shoulder surfing" -- looking over his or her shoulder as he or she accesses the information.”  He noted that case law regarding employers, social media networking and employee conduct is evolving. "If what HR is concerned about isn't clear-cut fraudulent, they need to be sure it doesn't fall into categories of protected speech.”

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