Latest sharedHR Bulletin Advises Businesses to Review Employee Handbooks, Write New Policies to Cover Blogging about the Workplace

Employee “blogs” -- personal Web sites that include comments and observations about the workplace as well as links to headlines and news articles -- have exploded so quickly that many employers have been caught off guard.

San Rafael, CA (PRWEB) Sept. 2, 2005 – Employee “blogs” -- personal Web sites that include comments and observations about the workplace as well as links to headlines and news articles -- have exploded so quickly that many employers have been caught off guard, reports the latest issue of the sharedHR Monthly Bulletin (www.sharedHR.com/news/) now available on line. With blogs growing in popularity (20,000 blogs are created each day), employers might consider adding new policies to protect against such problems as exposure of financial information and trade secrets, not to mention general negative publicity, advises the Bulletin.

SharedHR is a fast-growing supplier of Web-based administrative services to HR professionals working in small to mid-sized companies. The new Monthly Bulletin points to a series of recent incidents in which high-profile companies terminated workers for the negative content in their blogs.

The Bulletin notes that many businesses are using blogs to their advantage and are capitalizing on the vast readership and immediacy of the new medium to reach new markets. Those businesses include General Motors, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, which has a written policy to address the do's and don’ts of blogging.

“We’re advising businesses to review current policies in their employee handbooks to ensure that blogs written by workers are covered,” says Paul Finkle, president and CEO of sharedHR. “The policies should restrict both internal and external communication of employer information to protect the best interests of the business.”

If no such policies are in place, they should be included, he said.

In adding policies that cover blogging, Mr. Finkle also says businesses should consider the free speech rights of their workers. Businesses in several states are subject to anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) statutes protecting the free speech of employees, and he advises employers to be cautious in how they approach the subject of workplace-related blogging.

Without clear policies in place, employers who terminate workers for blogging while away from the workplace could face wrongful termination lawsuits, says Mr. Finkle. Still, he says it's difficult to know where to draw the line since so few cases have reached the courtroom.

“Employers should develop common sense policies that do not infringe upon the rights of the employee, yet clearly lay out what is considered unacceptable content and grounds for termination,” says Mr. Finkle.

About sharedHR
SharedHR is a web-based Human Resources Management System (HRMS) that lightens the workload for human resource professionals. The San Rafael, Calif.-based company offers the only HRMS solution that can help reduce both employment liability risks and manage the intricacies of running today’s complex HR function. SharedHR provides a robust employee data tracking and reporting system. In addition, sharedHR provides an employee communications portal and a complete library of legally-compliant HR forms, documents and policies, all supported by a secure Internet-based technology. For more information, go to www.sharedHR.com.

Media Contacts:
David Siskin
SharedHR
800-886-9478

Tom York
Thomas York Public Relations
415-552-3281

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/9/prweb279936.htm