Many companies have had to confront the issue of an employee who made inappropriate posts online in her or his personal time. Some chose to fire the worker in question despite the infraction not taking place in the workplace because the subject matter was too offensive or otherwise sensitive to overlook. Employees simply may not know their online persona is essentially public, and personal decisions can influence their professional image.

It may be a good idea to make social media training a part of every employee's education – it can be useful for part-timers and full-time employees, and both permanent and temporary employees. Research from the National Ethics Board shows most people do think about what their employer's reaction would be to something before they post it, but enough people continue to make missteps that some training would not go amiss. After all, proper social media use is not taught in school, and it may fall to human resources administration professionals to close the knowledge gap in this area.

Employers should be sure to have a clear social media policy in case of any perceived or actual infractions to handle the situation as effectively as possible.

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