In fact, we enjoy social networking sites so much that, on Facebook alone, each month we post over three billion photos and broadcast about 20 billion bits of information.
But sharing our private lives on social networking sites can be a double-edged sword – especially when it comes to workplace issues. Studies show that more and more, employers are using social networking sites to screen job candidates. Now, these sites have become a popular tool that can be used against employees who file workers’ compensation claims.
Think Before You Post
Lawyers for insurance companies will sometimes search an injured employee’s social networking pages to find any information that may undermine their workers’ compensation claims. Although the information you post may seem innocuous, for instance photos from a recent vacation, it might be used to discredit a workers’ comp claim after an on-the-job injury.
It is not difficult for social networking posts and photos to be taken out of context to make a claim appear weaker. For example, you may have gone out to a bar with friends after your injury and even though you may have sat at a table the whole time while others danced the night away, posting a photo of your night out may come back to haunt you as you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Even the highest level of privacy settings may not be enough to protect posted photos and updates. In some cases, a judge may order that access be granted, or order the social networking site to do it. But attorneys may not even need to go through a judge. They may find information based on what social networking friends post.
Know Your Rights
Workers compensation is designed to provide injured workers with the money to pay for medical expenses and recoup lost wages during the time it takes to recover. In addition, workers’ compensation may also pay for pain and suffering associated with an on-the-job injury.
Contact a qualified Pittsburg workers’ compensation attorney to discuss available remedies. An experienced lawyer can advise of rights and provide the necessary guidance in filing a workers’ compensation claim, negotiating a possible settlement, or appealing an adverse ruling.