Facebook Use Causes Trouble for Dallas Workers

July 14, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Two dozen Dallas City Hall workers received reprimands or counseling after a recent probe found that they were spending too much time on Facebook.

According to the Associated Press, city officials are working on new employee guidelines for social media use. Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm says employees are not allowed to do personal business when they’re being paid by taxpayers.

“Computer equipment belongs to the company and technically your time belongs to the company too, while you’re there,” said Dallas attorney Travis Crabtree, in the news report.

Cesar Baptista, an assistant director in the water department, had Facebook open for 68 hours during a three-month period; assuming a 40-hour work-week, that adds up to more than 10% of his time in office. The AP said Baptista claimed, however, that he often looked at his Facebook page in the morning and left it open while he did his work. He says he no longer opens the site at work.

“It’s [Facebook at work] definitely on the ‘bad idea’ side,” said Crabtree. “You hear lots of horror stories out there about employees posting things about how they’re either playing hooky, or just fiddling around while they’re at the office and getting in trouble for it when their boss sees it.”

Use of the social networking site has become a growing issue for employers and employees (see Facebook Posting Reveals Workers’ Comp Theft, NLRB Files Complaint for Employee Fired for Facebook Postings, and Settlement Reached in Complaint for Employee Fired over Facebook Posting.) 


-Sara Kelly