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(a) Purpose. The purpose of this policy is to make an employee aware of his or her privacy rights and prohibited conduct with respect to an employee’s actions and its impact on the City. Moreover, this policy is intended to ensure efficient use of employee time and to minimize any distraction from any employee’s assigned tasks and duties.
(b) Scope. All employees will be subject to and held accountable for any conduct outlined in this Social Networking Policy.
(c) Consent. An employee’s use of social media and/or networking technology constitutes consent to being monitored by the City.
(d) Social Networking refers to the use of websites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn (cyberspace). For purposes of this policy, blogs and other internet forums of communication are included. Employees shall not post any pictures in uniform or of any City buildings, vehicles, or anything representing City/departmental employment without prior approval of the Department Head and/or Service-Safety Director.
(1) On Duty Conduct: While at work, an employee may only access social networking websites, Blogs and/or other internet forums of communication as an investigatory tool within the scope of job duties. This includes access from a personal cellular device (e.g., Blackberry device, iPhone, other smartphone, etc.) during an employee’s hours of work. Employees found to have violated this policy may be subject to discipline up to and including termination. Nothing in this policy is meant to prohibit access to any website or blog which may be work related.
(2) Off Duty Conduct: An employee enjoys no expectation of privacy to information posted into cyberspace even while off duty. This includes anything posted to a social networking website, Blog, or other similar internet forum of communication. although information may be posted to a “private” webpage, the employee should be aware this information can still be accessed by the public and other sources in a number of ways. Because of this, an employee needs to use “common-sense” and good judgment when posting comments, photos, opinions, or any other information. By no means is this policy meant to infringe upon an individual’s First Amendment rights. However, anything that reflects negatively on the Employer, or its mission, may be used as grounds for discipline up to and including termination. Unacceptable conduct includes but is not limited to:
A. Posting pictures, videos, or comments that are insubordinate with respect to the employee’s employment.
B. Posting pictures, videos, or comments (via social media or email) that constitute or could be construed as immoral or unlawful behavior, or as obscene, vulgar, lewd, or discriminatory in nature.
C. Knowingly or recklessly posting false information about the Employer, supervisors, coworkers, public officials, or those who have a relationship with the Employer. This also includes disparagement of a fictitious character or computer-generated likeness that resembles the above.
D. Posting, transmitting, or disseminating any pictures or videos of official training, activities, or work-related assignments without the express permission of the Department Head and/or Service-Safety Director. This includes posting pictures or video in uniform and/or of City vehicles, equipment, buildings, or anything representative of the City without prior approval as set forth in subsection (d) hereof.
E. Posting pictures, videos, or comments that are sexual, violent, offensive, harassing, or pornographic in nature along with any reference to the Employer or individual’s employment.
(f) Employees shall not imply they are speaking on behalf of the Employer (City or Department).
(g) Confidential Information. An employee shall not disclose any work-related confidential or proprietary information on any social networking website, blog, or other internet forum of communication. This can include information that may eventually be obtained through a valid public record’s request.
(h) Employee’s found to have violated any part of this policy may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
(i) Any deviation from the above policy shall require express approval by the Employer.
(j) Any questions regarding the policy should be directed to the employee’s Department Head or Service-Safety Director.
(k) Employees shall not operate or maintain a website that creates the appearance of being an official representation of the City’s business. Exceptions must have the prior written approval of the Mayor. (Ord. 68, 2015. Passed 12-21-15.)