Social Media

Information about individuals obtained from a public source, like a social media site, fits the definition of personal information and must be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the rules of LAFOIP.

Background Checks

Employers are able to access social medial sites to gain information about prospective candidates for employment with the board of education (board). Such access is limited to the public portions of the site:

  • Employers should not attempt to obtain information from such sites in a clandestine manner such as trying to obtain information under an assumed identity; and
  • Employees should not require candidates for employment to provide passwords to non-public portions of the site.

Caution must be exercised in relying on information obtained from social media sources – it can be inaccurate, out-of-date, out-of-context or even deliberately created to mislead.

Monitoring of Employee Sites

Employers can monitor social networking sites established by employees. Information obtained from such sites can be used by the employer in a similar manner to other information about conduct of employees. If an employee shares confidential information or posts negative comments about co-workers, for example, disciplinary action may be taken based in part of the evidence obtained from such sites.

In addition, as role models, board employees, especially those in contact with students, will generally be held to a higher standard of off-duty conduct than other employees with regard to conduct that might negatively influence students or affect the reputation of the employer. Information posted on social networking sites that shows an employee failing to act as a role model may result in disciplinary action by the board.

Employees should be aware that information that they share on their sites, even in what they assume is a private manner, might not remain private. It can be circulated by others and may continue to be accessible even if the employee believes that he or she has deleted it.

All information obtained by an employer from a social-networking site will be subject to the same evidentiary rules concerning relevance and credibility as any other type of information.

Board Policy and Procedures

Social networking sites should be addressed in board policy and procedures. These policies should be clearly communicated to all employees.

Policy should address the following issues:

  • are employees allowed to access social network sites:
    • during working hours – if so, for what purposes, set out any expectations about the type of use;
    • during breaks;
  • will the board monitor the use of social network sites; and
  • consequences of con-compliance with the policy.

View the Good Spirit School Division’s Social Media Administrative Procedure.