Navigating a workplace discrimination claim is a complex and sensitive process. It is understandably not always obvious to those who have been discriminated against that their “everyday” actions could impact the outcome of their claims, yet it is certainly a possibility. It is for this reason that it’s generally a good idea for workers to stay off of social media until their claims are fully resolved.
Just as employers may get into trouble for approaching social media in problematic ways, workers can unintentionally impact the outcome of their discrimination claims in negative ways if they aren’t careful on social media. As a result, it’s generally better to be safe than sorry, and to simply log off these accounts until the process has concluded.
What’s the big deal?
Posts, comments, and even promoting someone else’s content on social media can be misinterpreted and used against a worker during their legal process. Innocent activities or statements might be taken out of context and presented as evidence of inconsistency or bad faith. For instance, a casual comment or photo suggesting workplace happiness or job satisfaction could contradict claims of discrimination or a hostile work environment.
While unlawful retaliation should never occur, it’s important to understand that discussing a claim on social media can lead to unintended consequences, such as retaliation from employers or colleagues. Even if the claim is ultimately resolved in a worker’s favor, this back-and-forth could lead to unnecessary stress and challenges that could have otherwise been avoided if an affected worker had simply stayed off their social media accounts.
Finally, even though victim shaming isn’t appropriate in the least, handling a workplace discrimination claim with discretion and professionalism is important. Engaging in public discussions or debates about the claim on social media platforms can be perceived as unprofessional and might impact the seriousness with which your claim is regarded by the legal system, your employer, and potential future employers. Ultimately, remaining off social media until a claim is resolved is a strategic choice that prioritizes the integrity and outcome of a worker’s claim, safeguarding their interests until the matter has concluded.