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2. Use of Social Media *

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(* Note: See explanation under Other Related Policies.)

   The purpose of this policy is not to restrict the flow of useful and appropriate information, but to minimize the risk to the Nebraska Supreme Court and its employees. The Nebraska Supreme Court recognizes the growing importance of online social media networks as a communication tool and respects the right of employees to use these mediums during their personal time. Use of these mediums during working hours or on work equipment, however, should be kept to a minimum and shall not interfere with the conduct of state business.

   The Nebraska Supreme Court takes no position on employees’ decision to participate in the use of social media networks. However, employees who participate in social media may include information about their work with the Nebraska Supreme Court as part of their personal profile, as it would relate to a typical social conversation. This may include:

· Work information such as work location, job title, and job duties.

· Status updates regarding an employee’s own job promotion.

· Personal participation in court activities and sponsored events, including volunteer activities.

   In general, employees who participate in social media are free to publish their own personal information without censorship by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

   All employees are responsible for maintaining the Nebraska Supreme Court’s positive reputation and presenting the Court in a manner that safeguards the positive reputation of themselves, as well as other employees and judges.

   If an employee chooses to identify himself or herself as a court/probation employee on any social media network, he or she must state in clear terms that the views expressed are the employee’s alone and that they do not reflect the views of the Nebraska Supreme Court. Employees are prohibited from acting as a spokesperson for the Nebraska Supreme Court or posting comments as a representative of the Court.

   There are some types of information employees are not permitted to discuss or display online, including:

· Information that is confidential or proprietary to the Nebraska Supreme Court, or to a third party that has disclosed information to the Court. For example: information about or identifying coworkers, judges, court cases, or parties in a case.

· Statements disparaging the Nebraska Supreme Court, judges, attorneys, or coworkers.

· Nebraska Supreme Court’s seal on any social media network. Also, images of coworkers, judges, and court or office premises and property.

· Statements, comments, or images referencing illegal drugs or that include profanity or could be considered obscene.

· Statements, comments, or images that disparage any race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. Also, any communication that engages in personal or sexual harassment, unfounded accusations, or remarks that would contribute to a hostile work environment (racial, sexual, religious, etc.), as well as any behavior not in agreement with any Nebraska Supreme Court codes of conduct or personnel policies.

   The nature of any social media posting and degree of harm to the Nebraska Supreme Court will be factors in determining whether discipline will be imposed and the severity of any such discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

Adopted 05-23-12

This page was last modified on Thursday, November 15, 2012