Do bosses have the right to check their employee's facebook statuses and pages?

@maezee (26855)
United States
November 10, 2009 5:47pm CST
I was just listening to the radio and they were discussing some stories about bosses of companies who would actually reprimand their employees for updating their statuses on Facebook (while they were working). Is it insane for bosses to do something like this? Is there any validity to yelling at someone because their status happened to change during their shift? And isn't it weird to imagine bosses checking their employees social networking sites for updates, to begin with? And do you ever update your facebook or myspace (or any other social networking site) while at work? Have you ever had your boss yell at you about it?
2 people like this
30 responses
@zhuhuifen46 (3486)
• China
11 Nov 09
In my understanding, bosses are entitled to oversee only the business related affairs. As for social sites like facebook, it should not be their responsibility to interfere into. Of course, the employees should be aware during work time, they are not supposed to log on sites for private matters, unless for urgency. Quite some companies have set up blocks to cut links with public sites, such as stock handling sites, to prevent unaccepted operations.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12095)
• India
24 Jan 10
I don't think it is wrong. We were not allowed to access social networking sites at the work place and the fact that the status changed during work hours means that one has been using it when they are not supposed to. It says something about one's integrity at work and it is but natural for a boss to assume that the person is on Facebook without getting work done. I haven't had a boss yell at me because I'd never do something like that (I use the net only for work related stuff when I am at work..I don't even check my mails - except my work related e-mail id) but I've seen others do so and it doesn't speak well about them and the importance that they give to their work. So, in short, I don't think it is wrong for a boss to be checking on an employee to see if they have been using Facebook or any other social networkign site during work hours...especially if it has been clearly specified that the employee is not allowed to do so.
@peavey (15865)
• United States
12 Nov 09
Why shouldn't your boss be angry when you use the time he's paying you for, for personal reasons? If it was your own time, that would be something different. When you're working for someone else, time is not your own. If a person's status "happened to change" during their shift, then, yes, the boss has the right to be upset about it. Would you pay someone to mow your lawn and then allow them to sit down and picnic on it first, while you're paying them?
@wookeyg (11)
• United States
11 Nov 09
Yes!! Too Many time has this happened in life. I think that it is just weird and creepy that your boss checks up on you through facebook. Yeah I get the whole thing of having you boss be your friend, but it is just too weird for me. Your boss is supposed to be someone who you donĀ“t like because he is higher than you and just hate his guts for that. Facebooking bosses are just pervs and need to stay out of there employees personal life's!!!
@wahmivy (778)
• Philippines
11 Nov 09
I think if bosses are so concerned about their employees slacking and doing facebook, etc. during work then they should just have the site blocked. I know of companies that have done this. As to the right to check on their employees statuses, why not? They have the right to ensure that their employees are keeping use of their work computers professional. It's silly though. Just have the site blocked in the network if they're so worried about it.
@happy6162 (3011)
• United States
11 Nov 09
No, I do not think an employee should update there any of the social networks site at work. The boss has the right to not allow any personal updates or searching done on the computers at work. He although should not be yelling at his employees. He should reprimand them in his office not in front of everyone else.
• United States
11 Nov 09
I guess bosses do have a right to check their employee's facebook accounts while they are working. Most places don't want you to check your facebook while you are working. They want you to spend all your time working on your job. I never checked mine when I worked at the doctor's office mainly because I was busy all the time checking in patients for 3 doctors. I could understand checking it if you are on a break or at lunch or something...you shouldn't get in trouble for doing that.
@jewels49 (1784)
• United States
11 Nov 09
Maybe the boss thinks that if your update was important enough to post on his time, he should know what major event was going on in your life, because it must concern him. I don't agree that a boss should be checking, but to play devil's advocate..in the current economy, I can't believe anyone would do anything at work, but their job. When hundreds of people show up to one job interview, we can't be blind to the fact, someone would be there to appy for ours.
• United States
11 Nov 09
no! that is an invasion of privacy!!
• Italy
11 Nov 09
I don't have access to facebook at work because they have blocked it through their firewall. And I also don't add coworkers to my facebook because due to my job, I really am two different people. The me-at-work is totally different from the private-me, I want to keep things separated and I don't want people from work to know the other 'me', I could even lose my job if they did, so I prefer to be two different people.
@ladym33 (11009)
• United States
11 Nov 09
I don't think that anyone who is not a friend that you decided to let view your facebook page should be able to view your Facebook page. I think Facebook should only be viewed by people that we choose to view us and allow to view us. Other words it is not right. I know employers are doing this all the time now, but Facebook is regarding most of personal lives which I think our employers have no business getting invloved in. It is very intrusive.
@nangel78 (1459)
• United States
11 Nov 09
It is not the boss's business in my opinion. As long as people are getting the work done, that is what is important. I have seen people texting in the office too. I stay out of their business. I do not care what people do myself as long as the work gets done if it is in a backoffice setting. Now if you have to deal with a lot people face to face, I think that is different. This is just my opinion and my boss has revealed way too much about my medical information without my permission in the past so I think this is trivial in comparison to a HIPAA violation. Unless the employee is causing actual production harm or harm to someone else, I would just let it be.
• United States
11 Nov 09
Well, technically, what you do at work is your bosses business, especially if you're using the time he or she is paying you to do non-work related things on their computer. I particularly don't think it's fair but I guess I do understand it. Some companies are very strict and monitor everything you do, and even if you check your home e-mail once during work time, and they find out, they give you a warning. Other companies aren't as strict but still might tell you something if they see you were on Facebook, or Myspace, or any other social networking site. Plus, bosses do have the right to go through your computer history to see what sites you've been on and they can even tell what you wrote. A friend of mine who works for a non-profit organization, once told me that his company uses programs where it records every keystroke you type. So, any e-mails you send, they'll be able to read it. I think that's an invasion in privacy, but, bosses have the right only because since they're paying you, and since you're doing those things within the building they have control over, then they can invade your privacy :(
@getbrowser (1715)
• China
11 Nov 09
facebook statuses and pages - if there are apparent rules that fobid the staffs to visit Facebook for secure reasons, the bosses can check the pages, or they should be not allowed to do that without permission.
Usually, I think the bosses have no right to check their staffs' Facebook pages and statuses. But for some special reasons, such as business secrets, these bosses are entitled to look into the statuses and pages relevant to the companie. With the popularity of Facebook and other social network sites, it is apparent that social networking sites are parts of the workplace. Then, some staffs spend some time on Facebook for personal reasons even if they are working in their office. Although more and more companies choose to block such sites for business affairs, it is unavoidable that there are still some employee who visit these sites by stealth. That is really an complex sitution. In my opinion, if there are apparent rules that fobid the staffs to visit Facebook for secure reasons, the bosses can check the pages, or they should be not allowed to do that without permission.
• United States
11 Nov 09
I think whatever social network people use is only for their own personal recreation. What is posted on the users page sould have nothing to do with their job or should effect their work life. I think if a person is at work and their job doesnt allow the emploee to be using work time to check or update personal networks then the person should respect that. I dont think the emploeer should be checking up on their emploees though.
@syankee525 (6298)
• United States
11 Nov 09
i think what we do outside of work is our own business not the boss. even if we might say something about our boss or other employees. but why we often need to watch what we say on facebook and myspace as well. i know if you are working for a job some employers will goggle your name and look for either myspace and facebook page to see what kind of person you are.
• Philippines
11 Nov 09
It depends on the intention. If the boss or supervisor is checking them out because are after for something, like they want to persecute an employee, then there's malice. But if the the boss is checking an employee's facebook account as friends or out of plain curiosity then it's okay. The employee also has the responsibility to make sure that what they write on their accounts is not be derogatory of someone or the company. If an employee puts in her facebook that his or her job sucks, then that can malign the company and the people he or she works with.
• Australia
11 Nov 09
When is stealing right? If a staff member is social networking in work hours, he/she is STEALING. His/her time is BOUGHT by the employer and belongs to him. Doing anything other than work is stealing. If the social networking was conducted in the lunch break, it depends on the circumstances. How was the connection made? Did she have her OWN laptop or other devise? Was she using her own connection/download? Once again, if she was using her employer's computer/connection/download, she was in the wrong, unless this is specifically allowed by the employer. I know there are positions where staff are allowed to use the computers for their own work, including social networking. As a general rule, these are more executive positions and usually ones where there is a set amount of work to be completed, and as long as that is completed, you are free to use the rest of the time as you will. This often happens in jobs like nightwatchman/supervisor etc. Does the boss have the right to check? Of course he does. If stock was going missing, would he have the right to try to find out how, when, by whom? Of course. He also has the right to try to determine who is stealing the time he is paying for.
• United States
11 Nov 09
I don't think it is any of their business. I guess it is there for all to see unless you make it private. There are so many other things to worry about in this life, I don't see why a boss would waste his or her time doing this.
@doryvien (2293)
• United States
11 Nov 09
Hi maezee, If the staff did it during work hours, then the boss has every right to reprimand him for updating his personal status on Facebook, or for visiting any site that is not in any way related to his job. Social networking sites like Facebook are supposed to be public and if the boss wants to check on that, then there is nothing wrong with it. Better not do anything personal on a company owned computer during work hours if you don't want to be caught and reprimanded.