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According to the North Atlantic Regional Business Law Association's Business Law Review, over 70 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds in the United States are on Facebook, and 40 percent of those over 40 have a profile. As social media usage grows, the gap that once existed between work and play is closing, raising questions about how employees' social media activity impacts their job.
For instance, if an employee complains about work online, can they be fired? Depends on what gets posted and how employers access that information. An increasing number of employers are developing behavior codes for online activity.
Kabrina Chang, professor of business law and employment law at Boston University, decided to research the legal implications of firings that occur when online behavior meets the work place. Her research uncovered several cases where employees have lost their jobs for posting negative comments about their employers on social media.
Chang told Here & Now's Sacha Pfeiffer that the best way to protect yourself is to be careful about what you post online. Not "friending" your boss also helps, but it doesn't guarantee you're in the clear, she adds.
"If you are Facebook friends with someone at work, and that someone at work accesses their Facebook page and shows someone else -- and that someone else happens to be your boss -- that's legitimate access," Chang said.
Read some of Chang's social media do's and don'ts on the Here and Now website.
* On a related note: CNN reports Jerry Buell, former "teacher of the year" in Florida, was recently reassigned for posting comments about same-sex marriage on his Facebook page.
According to CNN affiliate Central Florida News 13, Buell's status post said, "I'm watching the news, eating dinner, when the story about the New York okaying same sex unions came on and I almost threw up."
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