WEWS News Channel 5 Cleveland

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Excerpts from the story:

“Social media has been responsible for blurring the lines a lot between employees personal lives and their professional lives,” Christina Niro said.

Niro warned that in times of turmoil, many companies nationwide are cracking down on their social media conduct policies.

“Those policies are going to have anti-discrimination policies. They’re going to have social media policies,” Niro said. “Hopefully, in this day and age everybody’s got a social media policy.”

Niro added several factors determine whether an employer will choose to discipline or terminate an employee for an online post.

“It’s going to depend on the comment itself, whether it incites violence, for example,” Niro said. “Whether it’s hate language, whether its racist or bigoted.”

She said context is key if an employer is made aware of a questionable post.

“If it is ten years ago when they were in high school versus a year ago at their previous employer, that context, again context specific, would make a difference to me if I was an employer,” Niro said.

Niro advised sharing controversial thoughts on social media could not only affect you at your current workplace, but could also compromise future opportunities.

“A lot of employers do search public content when making their decisions about whether or not they’re going to be hiring or not offering an individual a job opportunity,” Niro said.