Over 20 Dallas City Hall employees have gotten into hot water for Facebook use. One employee reportedly spent nearly 70 hours on the social media site within a 3-month period.
While the reports of employees’ excessive use of Facebook are shocking, Frank Librio, city of Dallas spokesperson, notes that most employees had logged onto Facebook in the morning, minimized the window, thereby logging hours without actively surfing the site.
Regardless of the level of activity, keeping Facebook open can be seen as a distraction during the workday, and being public employees, there’s not a lot of sympathy for distractions.
"If you look at 68 hours, whether the person was actively surfing Facebook, or whether it was just left open, look at their hourly rate times 68 hours, that’s theft, and that’s exactly how taxpayers are going to look at it," said HR Expert Sherri Elliott Yeary.
Librio agrees. "Our salaries are paid by the taxpayer, and certainly when we’re here at city hall or any city facility being paid by taxpayers, we should be working for the taxpayer."
According KDAF-TV, a local station, employees who were caught using Facebook have been disciplined, a few facing more serious sanctions. Some employees were sent letters offering counseling.