This week, this blog celebrates it’s fifth anniversary (on Wednesday, more specifically). All this week, I’m going to look back on a post or reflect on this blog through the years.
Today, I’ll address what the biggest impact has been on employment law over the last five years.
(Hint: It’s not the Employee Free Choice Act –– remember that? That DOES seem like a long time ago).
And while there are certainly a batch of runners up to this question for employers in Connecticut (President Obama’s election, Paid Sick Leave, ADA Amendments Act), there is one very simple answer: Social Media.
Undoubtedly, social media’s infiltration into the workplace continues to have lasting impacts.
My first post talking about social media in detail was in October 2007, where I asked employers whether their employees would have enough common sense to censor themselves when blogging or “micro-blogging”. (What a quaint and short-lived term that was.)
It wasn’t until September 2008, that Facebook and other social networking sites starting making their way into discussions regarding electronic discovery or background checks. The debate back then was whether those sites should be “off-limits” (answer: no).
Over the following year or two, I’d cover social media from time to time. I even claimed a bit of Facebook fatigue from writing about it. I also had suggested that employers develop a social media policy (imagine that).
But it wasn’t until November 2010 when the first real “Facebook firing” case in Connecticut went viral. Since that time, discussions about social media have dominated presentations and have forced employers to think about these issues in a much more comprehensive way.
Still, today we are only in the early stages of understanding how the shift to social media and mobile technology is really impacting the workplace. It continues to outpace the speed in which many employers can react leaving most to struggle when discussing the issue.
A prediction over the next five years: I believe that employers will start to catch up to the technology and the law will catch up with employers. Already we are starting to see some states address social media password protection, for example.
But as I look back on posts 5 years ago, I realize how truly futile predicting the future can be.
So, what do you think? What’s been the biggest impact on employment law and why?