Rochester Business Journal–Managers at Work
Q. “Two of my team members have been having an affair for a while now and one of them is married. They have been goofing off to a certain extent, taking long lunches, calling in sick on the same day, sitting next to each other in meetings. Some team members have had to field awkward calls from her husband. The whole situation has become a bit of a behind-the-scenes office joke. Both of them have lost respect among their colleagues, which makes it more difficult for them to work effectively within the team. I’m relatively new to the team leader role and find myself struggling with it. The team has been doing good work as a whole but what do I say if any of them complain about having to do more because this couple is less engaged and sneaking away from time to time? Also, how do I raise this with the couple? I’m pretty sure they’re going to deny the affair.”
A. Oh, this is a dicey situation that I’m sure you’d rather avoid dealing with. The complexities are almost overwhelming: the potential loss of productivity and team momentum, the spread of gossip and implications for future careers and relationships.
Certain guidelines should be followed to avoid legal repercussions
By Todd Etshman
As the use of social media in society has grown through the years so has its use by employers to vet applicants. It can be a useful tool for employers who can find out if the information in an applicant’s resume is true. It may also reveal information relevant to the job that the employer may not have obtained otherwise.
“Employers might look to corroborate information provided by the candidate such as reviewing writing samples or social media posts or to learn about a candidate’s attributes such as how they speak about a current or past employer or their previous work history,” says Ann Maynard managing director of Maynard HR Consulting, Inc.
A CareerBuilder survey in June 2017 found up to 70 percent of employers check an applicant’s information on social media before hiring that person today, up from just 11 percent in 2006.
However, there is not a lot of legal guidance available to employers to guide them in their search. Consequently, they should tread lightly or seek an attorney’s advice before proceeding.
“I always recommend that an employer seek the guidance of an attorney before they begin using social media for applicant screening so you clearly understand the legal risks and how to mitigate them, Maynard says. In addition she warns that a social media search should only be one part of the selection process.
Lawyers such as Steven Modica of Modica & Associates PLLC, advise clients locally on the parameters of social media screening. Misuse of information found on social media can be the basis of a discrimination suit. To some degree, it could be used in general litigation as well.
“To love and to be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.”
Phone: 585-368-1111 • Fax: 585-368-1100