Socially Distant From The Truth

, , , , , | Working | November 18, 2020

I work remotely; most of my interactions are done by email and phone. One day, I receive an email from HR saying that I have violated social media policies and they will be withholding my paycheck until I remove the offending post and reread the policy handbook. If I do not reply within three days, my employment will be terminated. I call the HR hotline immediately.

Human Resources Employee: “Human Resources, this is [Employee]. How can I help you?”

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name]. Could I speak with [HR Manager who emailed me]?”

Human Resources: “Oh, sure. One moment.”

Cue annoying hold music.

HR Manager: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, hi, um, you sent me an email about—”

HR Manager: “You need to take down your post about [Company].”

Me: “But I don’t—”

HR Manager: “We reserve the right to terminate your employment unless you remove it.”

Me: “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

HR Manager: *Long, dramatic sigh* “Please type this address into your web browser.”

He sends me to an Instagram account.

Me: “Okay…”

HR Manager: “There is a post on [date] that clearly violates our policy. You need to take it down or we will hold your paycheck until you do, and/or terminate your employment. The choice is yours.”

I’m annoyed that he is being so aggressive and threatening to fire me over something I didn’t do.

Me: “Um, no, you can’t.”

HR Manager: “Excuse me?”

Me: “This isn’t my page.”

HR Manager: “Are you sure?”

Does he know what a stupid question that is?

Me: “Yes.”

HR Manager: “But it’s—”

Me: “I don’t even have an Instagram. Look at my employee profile. Do I look like the woman in these pictures?”

HR Manager: “One moment.”

I hear his keyboard clicking for a few minutes.

HR Manager: “Thank you for your time, [My Name]. Consider the issue resolved.”

He hung up.

I checked my hiring contract and policy handbook and found nothing at all about social media. I never did find out why they thought it was my page, except that she had tagged the town we both live in and we’re both white women in our thirties. The post in question was a woman in her car wearing the company polo we are supposed to wear when we go out. Probably not the problem, but I’d imagine her giving the middle finger and the caption, “[Company] is making me come outside in this hot-a** weather,” may have had something to do with it.

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