HR Strange But True!
July 28, 2011

An employee classified as a “social media specialist” was fired for revealing too much information in a Twitter post. Or perhaps she didn’t have enough characters to explain the situation.

According to media reports in Pennsylvania, the specialist tweeted on the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s official Twitter account that “We start summer hours today. That means most of the staff leave at noon, many to hit the links.”

Since this agency receives tax money from communities in the Lehigh Valley to bring new business to the region, as well as help area business expand, it didn’t go over too well in this down economy that the tweet implied that employees were out playing golf.

In fact, someone posted “the Valley would be more ‘economically competitive’ if the agency's staff stayed at their desks until 5 p.m. on Fridays.” This was followed by tweets on the agency site that “critical staff stay all day,” and “always someone here 8 to 5.”

The social media specialist was given severance notice shortly thereafter.

The president and CEO of the Agency told Allentown newspaper The Morning Call that the workers are allowed to leave at noon on Fridays, but only if they have already put in a solid 40 hours of work that week.

“I think this is an interesting lesson for all of us about the use of social media and about how chatty and how much information goes out there immediately and what the consequences are,” said the CEO in a Morning Call interview, where he called the tweet “out of line.”


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