Keeping with the NFL’s Thanksgiving tradition, the Dallas Cowboys played the Miami Dolphins in Dallas last Thursday afternoon. The Cowboys came out on top and now lead the NFC East. That, however, was not grabbed my attention about the game.
In the fourth quarter, Cowboys tight-end Jason Witten caught a pass on the sideline. His momentum carried him out of bounds where he ended up running over Cowboys Cheerleader Melissa Kellerman. She wasn’t injured and received a lot of camera time.
It is being reported that the Cowboys pulled the plug on Rae’s twitter account. This was after the following tweets:
I’m not the best at Jason Witten trust falls. ;)
Not hurtin’ today, like some of y’all thought I would be! Our TE isn’t as tough as he looks…That or I’m way tougher than I look.;)
The Cowboys deny that there was any such instruction to Kellerman and that she personally made the decision to stop posting. What actually occurred will probably never be known, but could the Cowboys or any Texas employer tell an employee to stop tweeting?
First off, do the Cowboys have a social media policy for their cheerleaders? Assuming there is a policy, does it prohibit them from discussing "company business". In this case the company business would be the Witten sideline encounter. Assuming there is such a policy the Cowboys could at least instruct Kellerman to stop tweeting about the company. Now whether they would be entitled to actually instruct her to stay off social media all together is another issue. That implicates free speech rights and other issues an employer does not want to implicate. According to the Cowboys there was no such instruction.
Bottom line, this is a great example of why a social media policy is a must have for most companies. An employee can never foresee when an employee’s social media activities may address goings on in the workplace, but they need to be prepared to address them with a robust policy.