Although Sir Walter Scott undoubtedly did not have technology in mind when he wrote about weaving a tangled web, today’s social media and internet users should heed his words and avoid being ensnared through deceit in today’s world wide web.Whether intended or not, our internet and social media use has tremendous potential to both positively and negatively impact our professional and personal lives, and the lives of others with whom we come into actual or virtual contact.It is all too common that employees lie to employers about work-related leaves, illnesses, vacation days, and many other issues.
It is not difficult to be “caught” by the internet and social media.So, should employees refrain from using the internet and social media?For instance, it may have been difficult for an employer to prove that an employee took a vacation during sick leave, unless the employee told someone about his or her vacation or returned from sick leave with a golden tan, for instance.With today’s internet and social media use that frequently encourages or permits widespread sharing and includes features aimed at pinpointing locations, dates, and names, dishonest employees no longer need to look over their shoulders for private investigators, refrain from speaking with loose-lipped coworkers, or cover their tracks after being dishonest.
(In general, it would not be appropriate for an employee to take a vacation while on sick leave.) Although the employer, employee, and the man’s physician ultimately hold the facts to determining whether the man was, in fact, abusing his sick leave and should have been fired, the man was undoubtedly snared by the tangled web of the internet.
While the facts surrounding the shark-wrestler may be sympathetic to some, it is not surprising that an employer would terminate an employee under similar circumstances.