Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Blogging At Your Job

Blogging at your job

Everyone needs a vent to talk about office stuff. It could be gossip or about bragging and showcasing your accomplishments, share your sorrows and troubles, or just discuss an event, or maybe be even touch about how the personal life is mixing up with the office, or simply recount the day's events as a way of decompressing.

Whatever your reasons, if you blog, you take on all the liability and employment security risks that come with publishing to a potential readership of a billion people -- even though the actual size of your audience may be just a handful of people or no one.

As with many other forms of publishing, work-related blogging corries with an array of legal perils, including libel and defamation; infringement of intellectual property rights such as trademark, patent and copyright; and breach of company confidentiality and other restrictions in a worker's terms of employment.

Most workers shouldn't blog under the illusion that free-speech rights will protect them from their employers, either.

Still, special forms of speech may be somewhat protected. Blogging about unionizing, 0ne may get more protection than they would otherwise. Whistle-blowing, airing political opinions and reporting the goings-on in a workplace may also be protected, depending on the law.

Most workers shouldn't blog under the illusion that free-speech rights will protect them from their employers, either. I


Many bloggers seek to write anonymously by changing names and other identifying details

But bloggers shouldn't assume that their attempts at anonymity will be successful. One slip -- or a betrayal by a former confidant -- could land a blogger in big trouble with his employer or the law.


There are two modes of thought regarding blog policy development. The first option is to not develop a separate policy for blogging. This would entail simply following a general policy statement such as

“The organisation expects all employees and volunteers to act professionally on the job, and refrain from behavior on and off the job, that could adversely impact the organisation’s reputation, mission, or otherwise violate the Code of Conduct.”


The second option would involve developing a stand-alone blogging policy or enhance the existing electronic communications systems policy to include blogging.  Policy should address, at a minimumsome of the following:


• Personnel may not use organisation equipment or technology for personal purposes, including maintaining a personal blog.

• Employee publications, including personal blogs, must not include sensitive confidential information related to the organisation or otherwise violate the organisations non discrimination and harassment policies or code of conduct. Employees are prohibited from making defamatory comments when posting blogs about the organisation, its personnel, or

parties doing business with or serviced by the organisation.

• Employees must clearly communicate that the views expressed in their blogs are their own and not those of the organisation.


Employees who violate the electronic communications system policy will be subject to disciplinary measures, up to and including termination.

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