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Boss Asks If They Were Wrong For Checking Employee’s Instagram After Not Hearing From Her For Days

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Unless your social media profiles are set to private, your online activity and posts are fair game for other users to see – including your superiors.

Redditor throwawaysnoooo has an employee who didn’t seem to understand the concept and accused her boss of crossing an unspoken boundary.

After being confronted by the exasperated employee, the Original Poster (OP) visited the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit and asked:

“AITA for checking my employees instagram after she didn’t come to work?”

The drama started when the OP received a photo in a text from the absent employee.

“So an employee of mine sent me a text last week in the middle of the night telling me that she could not come into work as she was in a serious problem and sent me a picture of her in a hospital bed.”

“She looked a bit banged up, I sent her a text telling it’s fine and that I hope she gets well. At the end of the day I sent her another text just to ask if she was going to be absent for the rest of the week but I got no response.”

“The next day she didn’t show up and I still had no answer from her. I worried that something serious might have happened to her so I tried to call but got no answer.”

“I figured I would wait a couple days to see if I get an answer but still had nothing and after trying to call again I just got her voice mail.”

“So I looked her up online and found her instagram, she had a picture from the night she sent me the text and she had been rear ended by a drunk driver. She had a story and I decided to check it.”

“It was just her at home and she seemed pretty fine. Later that day she sent me a text saying she would be in tomorrow(today) and I figured everything would be fine.”

“She explained to the office that she had been hit by a drunk driver and had to be hospitalized and had to take it easy for a few days. Later in the day she came to see me in my office to let me know that she knew that I saw her instagram story.”

“I explained that I had not heard from her in 5 days and began to worry so I looked her up to see if everything was okay. She tore into me about how it’s a violation of her privacy and we do not have the kind of relationship where I can check her social media accounts.”

“I again just explained that I was trying to figure out what was going on and she told me if I do it again she’ll report me to HR for stalking. This is the first time I’ve ever looked up an employee and I felt my reasoning for doing so was not with bad intentions so AITA?”

Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

“NTA. If she doesn’t want people checking her Instagram, she should set it as private.” – Busy-Forever

“Also adding onto this, I place money that the ONLY reason she showed up today is because of OP checking her socials. Had he not, she’d still be on leave.” – kalamata0live

“Exactly OP a lot nicer than I would have been after two nights of No-Call No- Shows and not answering phone calls or a friend or family member call in that persons lucky OP didn’t start termination. Employee was way out of line and is lucky to still have a job.” – italy2986

“Also fun fact, lots of companies literally have people that check your social media pages when you call off.”

“So like if you call off randomly for the day, esp if they know there is an event of some sort going on, they check your FB and insta and all that and if they see you out having a BBQ when you claimed to be sick, you get in trouble.”

“Just like they check your socials before they hire you, if you dont make it private then it’s on you.” – madethistosay90

“Yup. NTA.”

“If I was OP, I’d report this to HR. Also, after the attitude about her saying she they didn’t have that kind of relationship where OP could check her social, OP should’ve let her knew that they don’t have the kind of relationship where she can go AWOL for 5 days of no call, no text, no show, and continue to have a job.” – botabought

“NTA. Her lack of communication was unprofessional and in many cases, grounds for dismissal as job abandonment.”

“Doctor’s orders to take it easy notwithstanding, it’s clear her dialing fingers were not broken. She needed to pick up the phone and keep her place of employment updated as to her situation.”

“Additionally, if her social media accounts are not specifically set to Private, she hasn’t a leg to stand on to complain that you did a little detective work to see if she was okay. She was definitely out of line.” – bluegeocachingmonkey

Redditors urged the OP to immediately report the employee to HR as a protective measure against an accusation of stalking.

“NTA. I would inform HR ASAP. 1) They need to know she was in an accident because there may be procedures to follow to ensure she is okay to return to work 2) stalking is a serious accusation and you need to take steps to protect yourself.” – Content_Platform

“NTA. Honestly, after her reaction, I’d head her off and take the matter up with HR. Inform them about all that happened.”

“Show them the texts that she sent to you, and then the stuff on Instagram that conflicts with her story. Then let them know about your meeting with her and her reaction and threats to report you to HR for stalking. Be proactive.” – AlexDeWinter

“NTA. Talk to HR about the situation, your employee no called/no showed for 5 days, you had every right to reach out to her to find out if she was ok and was going to need more time.”

“She didn’t respond, most places I have worked I would have already been fired for no call/no show by day 3. Plus, her IG profile is public, its not really stalking.”

“Talk to HR cause you want to CYA right now before it goes any further.” – MonkeyWrench

The OP later admitted they were pretty lenient as a boss but plans to take action after the incident.

“I do try to keep a policy where my employees can be open with me about their opinions on things which sometimes leads them to venting in angry rants but this is new territory for me.”

“I am planning on having HR, herself and myself have a sit down and talk about this.”

Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a Los Angeles based actor whose work has been spotted anywhere from Broadway stages to Saturday Night Live.
He received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese.
In addition to being a neophyte photographer, he is a huge Disney aficionado and is determined to conquer all Disney parks in the world to publish a photographic chronicle one day. Mickey goals.
Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1 Flickr: nyckmo