If your company has an employee who claims a work-related injury, you may wonder if you can check on how that person is doing via social media.
If you are already friends with that person or if their posts are public, you are considered an authorized user. But you must never pretend to be someone you are not to gain access to their photos or other posts. If you receive a report from someone that an employee who is out on a workers comp claim is doing things that are inconsistent with their reported injuries, you should go directly to the insurer, according to investigators and risk managers. Fraud investigations will be done primarily by the workers compensation insurer.
It is necessary that employers follow their state’s workers comp reporting rules to a T and remain supportive of injured workers in their recovery and return to work. That may include social media engagement, but talk to your legal counsel and workers comp insurer to make sure you don’t run afoul of privacy laws. Annoying or suspect interactions could result in a wrongful employment practices complaint.