January 31, 2013
Another Employee Behaves Badly on Social Media. Really, You “Can’t Make This Up.” -- In re Palleschi
[Post by Venkat Balasubramani with a comment from Eric]
Palleschi v. Cassano, 2013 WL 322573 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 29, 2013). The trial court decision.
Someone calls 911 complaining of a “gynecological emergency.” A fire dept. employee, an emergency medical services supervisor, photographs the computer screen, including the complaint, along with the caller’s name, address, and telephone number. The employee uploads the image to his Facebook account with the following caption:
[c]an't make this up.
Not surprisingly, the ALJ and judge don't find his post very funny.
What you “can’t make up” is the human ingenuity and creativity when it comes to posting stuff that comes back to haunt you . . . and then complaining about it. I’m surprised the reaction of the ALJ was a one sentence denial of the claim that said only “you can’t make this up.”
Eric's Comment: I'm not sure how professionals in the healthcare industry interpret their confidentiality obligations, but sharing the screenshot with even one person seems like a fairly blatant violation--and sharing the screen with hundreds of folks online only magnifies the gaffe's scope. I put this incident in the same social-media-misjudgment bucket as Tatro (funeral industry), Yoder (nursing), Byrnes (nursing), CareFlite (EMT) and O'Brien (teacher). It seems like all professional schools need to be teaching their students about the proper use of social media. Apparently that's not self-evident.
[image credit: Shutterstock / Kalmatsuy Tayana -- "birthday clown holding blank board"]