These days, most people use some form of social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Often, we post about our daily lives or activities we are involved in without giving much thought as to who is viewing our comments or pictures. A common misconception among social media users is that only “friends” we have invited to see our posts, view our photos or receive our tweets will see them.
In reality, others might be looking at your social medial site. Employers have found social media sites to be most useful in gathering information about a person, whether it be for purposes of determining whether to hire a person for a job or check up on a person’s activities – specifically to find any information that may be useful in preventing or disrupting benefits in a workers’ compensation claim.
Increasingly, employers are turning to social media sites during their investigations into work related injuries. They might look at posted comments that could call into question an individual’s credibility. They could be looking for information that challenges an individual’s allegation that they were injured on the job. Even pictures can raise red flags for employers looking to challenge a claim or compensation.
It is important to know that in the administrative processes of the workers’ compensation system, the rules of evidence do not apply. This means any information an employer may find on a social media site is fair game can be used against the individual during a workers’ compensation hearing.
What can you as the injured worker do to protect yourself and your privacy? First, make sure your social media accounts are set to private, so only those individuals you have given permission to can see your content. Second, be cognizant of your comments and pictures and keep in mind that it may not just be your friends and family that are looking.