Tip of the Month – Will Your Company Holiday Party Pictures End Up On Facebook?

Written by Robert G. Brody on October 22, 2010

At this time of year, you’re probably thinking about, if not already planning, this year’s company holiday party.  While the economy may have limited your plans, some celebration will still probably occur.  Before you go too far, have you taken a look at your social media / Internet publication policies – or lack thereof?  If they exist at all, do they address things like posting pictures of company-sponsored events online? 

In recent weeks, bloggers posted embarrassing pictures of Democratic congressional candidate, Krystal Ball, posing with “sexual accessories” at what appears to be a “naughty” themed holiday party.  Although your holiday party is not likely to follow that theme, holiday parties (particularly where alcohol is served) often feature less-than-professional behavior.  While we all hope such behavior will not occur, and you may even warn against it, missteps often occ

ur.  Unless such behavior is illegal, it’s usually business as usual the next day.  However, what would happen if, for example, an employee captured a co-worker’s embarrassing moment and post it on-line for their 500-friend-strong Facebook network?  Even ignoring the potential legal implications (e.g., discrimination, harassment, etc.), such conduct would likely create a lot of friction, diminish employee morale, lower productivity and possibly cause a client relations issue. 

If your policies do not address employees’ company-related Internet posts, make sure to add this to your holiday party planning to-do list.  Your policies should be prepared by (or at least reviewed by) counsel to ensure compliance with applicable laws (including free-speech protection laws and off-duty conduct laws).  With proper policies, you can help ensure “what happens in Vegas” doesn’t end up on Facebook!

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About the Authors

Robert G. Brody is the founding member of Brody and Associates, LLC. He has been quoted and published in national publications and appears as a guest T.V. commentator on contemporary Labor and Employment issues. Learn More