Indian Companies Introducing Strict Social Media Policies & Non-Disparagement Clauses

Indian companies are now strictly introducing social media policies and non-disparagement clauses with the joining letter.

Venting on social media about your company, colleagues, and bosses is not cool even if you think that it is your freedom of speech. If you are one of those who prefer social media to rant about your job, then get ready to have a lawsuit in your hands, reports TNN.

Globally companies have adopted social media polices that clearly define what an employee is supposed to not say online. Besides the use of non-disparagement clauses, especially in top-level exits are a growing trend which Indian companies are following too.

“We have increasingly seen use of non-disparagement clause linked to exit packages in severance agreements with senior employees. We are also seeing a trend of including non-disparagement clauses in new executive employment agreements. Automatically, employees would be under an obligation to comply with the clause on exit,” says Anand Mehta, partner, Khaitan & Co, a law firm.

With Facebook’s growing population inching towards a billion, some companies are detailing their social media policies in their offer letter itself. While the social media policies form a part of an employee’s code of ethics, it also informs an employee on not posting any defamatory comments about the company, its employees, clients and associates.

These clauses also include prohibition of sharing of proprietary information of the company or its clients and even ex-employees cannot engage in activities that could affect the company’s interest.

With the proliferation of social networks in the country and digital evolution, companies are taking online reputation seriously, while at the same time employers are sensing the need to educate employees about the proper usage of social media platforms.

“Often employees make comments in jest or in a fit of frustration. These policies help educate them on appropriate usage of social media platforms,” says Mohandas Pai, chairman, Manipal Global Education.

Along with the much required social media policies, Indian companies are prohibiting the access of social networks due to security and business concerns. However, some companies do provide specific terminals for accessing social networks. But with the rampant proliferation of smartphones in the country, it would be surprising if an employee would wait for his turn at the specific terminal to check what his friends are saying about his new profile picture on Facebook.