Some people are confused about the scope to which a company can police an employee or an independent contractor’s PERSONAL Facebook account (well any social media for that matter). So I am here to clear up some of that confusion for you – especially if you work in Network Marketing.
“Big Brother” cannot control your social media accounts. Your personal Facebook account is your personal property. It belongs to no one except for you as the account owner. No one except Facebook can tell you how you can and cannot use that account (pursuant to their terms of service) or what you can and cannot say or post on it or who you can or cannot be connected to. No company can tell you what to do on your personal accounts – so let me say this again YOUR PERSONAL FACEBOOK ACCOUNT IS YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY.
This includes if you own your own blog or website. A company cannot tell you who you can and cannot interact with on your personally owned website or what content you can or cannot post.
For example Slender Suzie is solely owned and operated by me, I choose my content and advertisers. While I may earn money from some of the products advertised on this site the site still remains my personal property and has been since January 1, 2013, well before I started to promote any outside business on it (it actually started as a way for me to document my struggles with my weight and in my life and to allow people to connect with me on my journey who had similar struggles – it evolved from there).
Left to their own devices, most companies will write a social media policy that says you can’t say anything negative about the company online. This provision is illegal. This violates the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act). It protects employees’ abilities to talk amongst themselves about things like wages and work conditions. You’re allowed to do it publicly (even on the internet) and you don’t have to be respectful about it.
Your company can’t stop you from discussing your salary with your co-workers. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) says that employers can’t prevent employees from discussing wages among themselves. Many employers have policies against this anyway, but these policies violate the law.
Similarly, your company can’t stop you from discussing your working conditions with your co-workers. Here again, NLRA protects you. The reason for the law is that employees wouldn’t be able to organize if they were forbidden from talking with each other about such important issues.
Now I know you will say “well I am not an employee so this does not apply to me” – GREAT! Then your company has even LESS control over you as an independent contractor!!! Your company can’t pay you as a contractor while treating you like an employee. If your company controls when, where, and how you work, the government says you’re an employee—and your company needs to pay your payroll taxes and offer you the same benefits it offers to regular employees – including unemployment compensation if they terminate you. Regardless of all of that no company – employee or independent contractor status – can control your personal social media account. Plain and simple.
Do your research people “Big Brother” cannot tell you how to be a human being, who you can and cannot be friends with or speak to and how to live your life. My Facebook means I post what I want when I want – “Big Brother” does not tell me who I can be friends with or what I can do. That goes way beyond the scope of what is legal and illegal.