12 J.L. Pol'y & Globalization 1 (2013)

handle is hein.journals/jawpglob12 and id is 1 raw text is: 






Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization                                                      wwwiisteorg
ISSN 2224-3240 (Paper) ISSN 2224-3259 (Online)
Vol.12, 2013                                                                                        I 154


     Social Media and the Workplace: Legal, Ethical, and Practical


                            Considerations for Management

                                             Frank J. Cavico
                       The H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
                                       Nova Southeastern University
                                         Email: cavicotnova.edu

                                           Bahaudin G. Mujtaba
                                           (correspondent author)
                       The H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
                                       Nova Southeastern University
                                 Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA 33314. USA.
                                        Email: mujtabatnova.edu

                                            Stephen C. Muffler
                       The H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
                                       Nova Southeastern University
                               Email: scmuffiegnova.edu; scmuffgmsn.com

                                             Marissa Samuel
                       The H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
                                       Nova Southeastern University
                           Email: marisamutnova.edu; msamuel.lawtgmail.com
I. Abstract
The prevalence, widespread use, and influence of technology in society today, including the workplace, is undeniable.
Computers, the Internet, email, and cell phones are now indispensable parts of social interaction as well as business;
and their sophistication, uses, and reach are expanding continually. Social media has completely transformed the life of
many, many people. In particular, social media has materially changed the way in which people communicate. Social
media affords people readily and easily usable ways to stay in touch with family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers,
including the ability to rapidly share information and commentary. Business today is also taking advantage of social
media - for marketing, management, and human resource purposes. Furthermore, the conception of the workplace
has been broadened with the advent of technology and especially the existence of telecommuting. The increase in
work outside the office... has further blurred the boundary between work and home, public and private (Gelms, 2012,
p. 268). Social media, therefore, is being widely used in business and professional as well as personal settings. Of
course, social media sites and accounts can contain some very personal and intimate information about people.
Consequently, employers, employees, job applicants, as well as the legal system, are confronting with ever-increasing
frequency the advancement of technology, the growth and proliferation of social media, and the challenges and
difficulties presented by the use of social media and the modem-day workplace. Courts as well as legislative bodies,
however, are now just beginning to address legal claims caused by social media and employment. Moreover, the
extensive use of social media in the workplace also raises serious moral and ethical concerns.
    Given the popularity, prevalence, sophistication, and ever-growing use of social media, it is no surprise that social
media in an employment context raises many difficult, as well as novel, legal, ethical, and practical issues. This article,
therefore, is a legal, ethical, and practical examination of social media in employment. The legal section of this article
is a very substantive one where the authors extensively address the legal ramifications of social media in the private
employment context. Statutory laws - federal and state, common law doctrines, as well as proposed federal and state
laws, are examined to ascertain their applicability to social media policies and practices in employment. Case law,
regulatory law, as well as legal and management commentary, are also examined to determine how a wide variety of
laws apply, and could apply, to social media in the workplace. Case illustrations of legal principles being applied to
social media workplace disputes as well as hypothetical examples are provided by the authors. As noted, the focus of

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