With the stark rise of the Internet in everyday life and, in particular, the ubiquity of social media, workplace issues such as workers’ compensation and your rights to protection from on-the-job surveillance have become more relevant than ever before.
A Few Things about Labor Law
In the late 90’s, no one ever thought about the impact social media would have on the workplace culture. The privacy issues that arose with the transition of so much of your social life to the Internet was unprecedented and dicey for a few years, until things settled into place. Today, employers can legally assess your social media profiles when considering you for a job. This inevitably means they can also use the things you say about the company – a fact which will be important below when your rights involving workers’ comp are discussed.
The only significant prohibition against using your social media posts against you is violating the terms of the social network and spying on you illegally. This means they cannot demand your log-on details from you, nor ask another employee to obtain it under pretense.
How Social Media Can Hurt You in a Claim
Since so many people live much of their lives in the online space, attorneys and other third parties for the insurance companies are taking their investigative efforts to cyberspace, in an effort to discredit your workers’ compensation claim. Fact is – this is entirely legal. Insurance companies have the ability to send a clandestine investigator to make sure your claims are valid, and employers have security cameras installed just for this purpose.
Social media simply extends the range of their surveillance, which is why you must be careful – your reputation may become very important before the judge. Video has been the bane of many workers’ comp claims, when the tape showed an injury much less severe than claimed, or worse, no injury at all.
There have even been cases where the injured employee received her claim, but the amount was substantially less because the judge took into account unfortunate statements she made on her Facebook account about ‘taking her employer down.’ If you think your boss may be conducting surveillance on your social accounts to discredit you, contact experienced workers’ comp attorney John A. Snyder to help you navigate the minefield that is workers’ compensation in this day and age.
Managing Your Online Social Life
Employers and lawyers know how much people share online, and it’s become fair-grounds in the legal system. Dubious claims cost the country $5 billion per year, which is why the legal system is so liberal with regards to allowing the use of social media evidence in court.
If you slip and fall in the workplace and file a claim of severe hip pain, then video that surfaces of you hopping right up and getting back to work simply won’t look good for your claim. As soon as you decide to file a claim, seek help from a lawyer. The law office of John A. Snyder is here to help. Schedule a free consultation with our firm today.