Most companies now have some form of policy regarding social media, as well as the sharing of videos, photos, jokes or memes using company resources or on company time.
After all, NSFW stands for Not Safe For Work and there’s a reason the acronym is around.
But while most workers understand things of a sexual nature or hate speech are completely forbidden and there are restrictions on what they can do while working or using company equipment, the line gets kind of fuzzy when the humor is just considered low brow.
It gets even more fuzzy when the social media post is made on an employee’s own account, using their own device, during their own time.
A Michigan man found out the hard way where the line for his company was after stepping over it.
Cody Hidalgo posted a gif on his Facebook page on a Sunday. The gif features Elmo from Sesame Street seated on a potty chair.
The gif text says:
“Boss makes a dollar, I make a dime, that’s why I poop on company time.”
Later that day, Hidalgo posted:
“I legit got fired for this…”
The post included a screenshot of the gif shared previously on Hidalgo’s page.
People being the trusting sort they are online, Hidalgo made sure to add screenshots of a text exchange between himself and “Andy”—his boss.
The text exchange begins with a pink slip.
Andy—as Hidalgo later refers to him in the text thread—sends (complete with original errors):
“We don’t make a dollar when your shi**ing all the time. Why don’t you stay home and do your shi**ing. I don’t like to play your bullsh** games. Maybe theres a company out there that would put up with your games cause i won’t. Good luck!”
When Hidalgo asks what’s going on, Andy refers him to his Facebook page.
The issue was on a slow Facebook burn until it jumped to Twitter. Podcast host Chris Ceasar shared it and from there…
If your boss doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re then they shouldn’t be the boss.
— Purple 8 ! (@LetPurpleSayFuc) October 27, 2019
This is why we will abolish at-will employment. pic.twitter.com/SZzNOj2Y20
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) October 26, 2019
People tracked down both Hidalgo and Hidalgo’s former employer, Roman Stone Works of Detroit, Michigan.
The one star reviews came rolling in on the company Facebook and Google entries.
People made edits to the company name and purpose on Google.
They also linked photos to the Google business page.
Hidalgo and many of the thousands of people who commented on both Facebook and Twitter pointed out that in an “at will employment” state like Michigan, workers have little recourse if they’re fired and their employer didn’t break any federal laws regarding equal employment.
But Roman Stone Works discovered, while social media can allow employers to monitor their employees during their free time, it can also take a bite out of the employer’s bottom line when the masses disagree with their personnel decisions.