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Do you hate your boss, company, colleagues, difficult customers, or certain ethnic or religious groups? Do you comment, blog or tweet about your opinions online? You might want to put the brakes on that activity sooner rather than later, if you value your job and your standing in both online and real life communities.
Before you hoist your First Amendment banner and start a personal protest, you need to be aware that employees who bring negative attention to themselves and their companies, by offering up their less than politically and socially correct opinions for the world to see, are in danger of being fired.
A Google search of the phrase a�?fired for posting a personal opiniona�? will net over 90 million results. Perusing some of those results might make you haul that free speech banner down, because they reveal instances where people have joined the ranks of the unemployed for their posting faux pas.
Instead of being left holding a litigious hot potato, many companies are taking a stand by defining their social media policies. The policies being drafted clearly define what is considered to be harassment, racism, and sexism. Typically, the company calls upon their lawyer(s), HR staff and communications specialists to define their social media policy, which gives employees clear-cut guidelines to follow. The policy can be reviewed on a monthly basis to determine whether any revisions or updates are required.
These developments breathe new life into the long-standing journalistic axiom, a�?when in doubt, leave it out.a�?