You’ve probably already figured out that getting employees to use social media responsibly is more about education and persuasion than enforcement.

Here’s another reason: A third state – California, following Maryland and Illinois – has just passed a law protecting employees from employer intrusion on their social media activities. Other states have similar laws in the pipeline.

The California law bars employers from obliging employees to:

  • divulge what social media they personally use
  • disclose usernames or passwords, or
  • access their accounts with the employer watching.

Sure, you have an interest in trying to avoid employees’ bad-mouthing your organization – or each other – on Facebook or Twitter. But it’s becoming increasingly hard for employers to achieve such ends by surveillance and/or coercion.

Better: Make sure you have a social media policy, then explain – and re-explain – why it says what it does.

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