A Missouri teacher won’t be clicking the "like" button on a new social media law any time soon. And her opposition to the Show Me State's new "Facebook Law" has implications for businesses, too.
Christina Thomas is suing the state of Missouri over a new law that prevents teachers from having "exclusive communications" with students over personal or non-work websites, according to a report on The Lookout. Thomas is claiming that the law violates her First and 14th Amendment rights.
Despite Thomas' objection to this law, her opponents say the law may be necessary to protect students from sexual abuse in schools. Taken out of the classroom, though, this case highlights the controversial topic of the ability of employers to limit and restrict employees' conduct online.
"The growth of social media and sites like Facebook and Twitter kind of caught businesses off guard," said John Lusher, owner of John Lusher Consulting, a firm specializing in social media and marketing consulting. "Most employers are coming down on the side of if it is on company time and resources, they do have a right to restrict that."
According to Lusher, however, restriction is not the best practice for businesses to deal with the growth of social media.
"I equate it to trying to put the genie back into the bottle," Lusher told BusinessNewsDaily. "They are trying to restrict the ability to interact on social sites. I take more of the approach that you should, as an employer, create an environment where you encourage your employees to be active on these sites. It can be good for employers to have their employees actively involved on these sites."
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