As an addition to your corporate code of conduct, employers should publish guidelines for employees regarding the posting of content on the internet during and after work hours.  Social media includes platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blogs, etc.  Lines between work and leisure are blurring quickly in our society and there have been some high-profile cases in which employer corporations have been tarnished by the actions of an employee after hours on social media.  Accordingly, developing a workplace policy on social media will provide guidance to employees and help companies to avoid embarrassment.  If you need convincing, consider the following:

  • If rules are not in place regarding social media use during work hours, productivity in the workplace may suffer.
  • An employer's reputation is hard to build and easy to destroy. Employees must be made aware that what they post personally and professionally has the potential of impacting an employer's reputation and business interests quickly.
  • Corporations spend a lot of money protecting an image over social media and you do not want this image to be eroded by postings on Facebook or Instagram by employees that convey a different and negative message.
  • Without education, employees may post confidential or sensitive information about clients, co-workers, or the corporation which could create liability for the employer.

Education is the key.  Employees must be provided with a clear set of guidelines to know what they can and cannot post on social media and that they can be held responsible and disciplined, if necessary, if they breach the code of conduct set by the company.


On April 2, 2019, the Ontario Provincial Government passed Bill 66.  As part of this Act, changes were made to the Employment Standards Act 2000 (the ESA) as follows:

  • The ESA poster does not have to be displayed in workplaces.
  • Employers no longer must apply to the Director of Employment Standards for approval to enter into agreements with employees to work more than 48 hours per week.
  • For overtime averaging agreements with employees for a period of up to four weeks, Director approval is no longer required.

Existing averaging agreements will be deemed to have met the new requirements under the ESA and will remain in effect until their original expiry date.  Employers must still obtain written agreement of the employees to average overtime and must still track hours of work and pay overtime at time and half when it is earned.  Primarily, these changes take away the requirement for the approval of the Director of Employment Standards in overtime situations. For more information about overtime rules, please contact us.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.