A CP rail employee was fired as a result of social media activity (posting images to her Facebook page and Instagram.) CP Rail came to the conclusion that Katelnikoff’s conduct violated their code of ethics, as well as their internet and email policy. They released this statement:
“Ms. Katelnikoff’s termination related to her decision to post photos of herself in unsafe situations on railway property and equipment, committing railway safety violations, along with disparaging remarks regarding the company.” [Read Full Statement]
However, the story is a little more convoluted than that.
Facts regarding her latest termination:
But the real problem is that there’s a HUGE gap between our understanding of free speech and reality.
When I advise employers on guidelines and training, we spend a lot of time discussing Charter and Constitutional Rights. The challenge is that most people believe they are protected because of laws that have been put in place to protect citizens from government interference. Which creates a false sense of security when they’re behind the keyboard.
When can you fire an employee for what they post online?
How can organizations cover their behinds so they don’t find themselves in a similar predicament?
Stephanie called CP Rails Code of Ethics a fictional comedy; whether it was or wasn’t, it didn’t clearly articulate their expectations with regard to social media activity.
In order to set everyone up for success, it’s important to put together a guideline and/or policy that your employees will not only understand but they will respect. Equally as important is offering them training so they can connect the dots between what happens online and the consequences offline.
How to write a social media guideline that your employees will understand
Social Media Training For Employees
Human Resources: addressing negative social media posts online
How To Use Social Media During Real Crisis Situations
Social Media, Freedom of Speech and Employment