This article is set to appear in the October edition of the Ontario Dental Assistants Association Journal, the organization’s exclusive member publication that is published three times a year for 8,000+ ODAA members.
We’ve all done it. You get home from a particularly exhausting day, turn on the computer to check Facebook, maybe pour yourself a glass of wine, and you end up venting some of your frustrations about the day you’ve just had.
Well maybe not.
It certainly wasn’t in the case of Kaitlyn Walls, a 27 year-old in Dallas, Texas who was fired because of something she wrote on Facebook before she even had a chance to start her new job. Walls posted, “I start my new job today, but I absolutely hate working at day cares.” Someone who knew Walls’ prospective employer shared her status update, and as a result, the single-mom saw her job offer rescinded—all because of what she says was venting after a frustrating day.
And while Walls’ case might seem extreme, it’s just one more example of how easily social media, and our perceived “private” lives online, can have an effect on our jobs.
Facebook—and Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and whatever thing was probably just invented while I wrote this sentence—can actually get us into trouble precisely because of the the things we like about them: Using social media allows us to be ourselves and to share our thoughts and feelings with people. But that sharing can often be problematic.
Consider the case of Ashley Payne, a teacher from Georgia who was fired because of a photograph of her that was posted to social media in which she is holding a glass of wine and a beer while on vacation in Europe. Payne is now in a legal battle to get her job back but the example proves that even things you say and do on social media in your own time can be considered in the context of employment. Read the rest of this entry »