Our team of experts fields real-life, everyday questions from HR managers and gives practical answers that can be applied by any HR pro in the same situation. Today’s issue: Whether a company can discipline employees who’ve posted pictures of an unsafe practice at work.
We’ve discovered some Facebook photos of a group of our nurses cutting each other’s hair in a patient-sterile area – a clear violation of our safety procedures. Can we fire them? They claim we violated their rights to privacy by viewing the photos.
Yes, go ahead and fire them, since safety trumps privacy, says attorney Scott Brutacao.
If you know of a practice that might put customers – or in this case, patients – in danger, it’d be irresponsible to not take concrete steps to eliminate the danger.
And firing employees for violating a safety rule is a pretty strong way to show you’re serious about maintaining both patient and employee protection.
As for the Facebook fans, you can just tell them: “Thank you for giving us the evidence of a clear violation of company policy.”