Jun 282014
 June 28, 2014  Posted by  Court, U.S., Workplace

Jeff D. Gorman reports on another case involving use (or misuse) of social media in the workplace:

An Idaho nurse who ranted on Facebook that he wanted to slap a patient is not entitled to unemployment benefits, the state’s highest court ruled.

Joseph Talbot had been working as a nurse at Desert View Care Center for about five months when he made a January 2013 post on Facebook that got him in hot water.

“Ever have one of those days when you’d like to slap the ever loving bat snot out a patient who is just being a jerk because they can?” he asked. “Nurses shouldn’t have to take abuse from you just because you are sick. In fact, it makes me less motivated to make sure your call light gets answered every time when I know that the minute I step into the room I’ll be greeted by a deluge of insults.”

Read more on Courthouse News.

Note that there is no suggestion that any patient’s protected health information (PHI) was disclosed. This case turned simply on whether the employee violated the center’s social media policy.

Taken together with the previous blog post pointing to Eric Goldman’s comments on another workplace case involving social media, I can only wonder when people are going to really learn that Facebook isn’t a smart choice for venting about work – even if you do not name individuals. Yes, some speech is protected, but if you have signed an agreement with your employer about social media use or prohibitions, expect to be held to it.

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