Why Taco Bell's Reported Employee Rules Came Under Fire On Reddit

No matter what job you work, you're obviously going to be following a strict set of rules. It may be the usual dress code or how to handle emergencies, but sometimes there are rules specifically for social media use. If you work in a company that relies heavily on social media for marketing purposes, there are likely guidelines. For example, while Wendy's Roast Day tweets garner a lot of attention, the people running it can't exactly post whatever they feel like. But, outside of public relations, can companies control what their employees say about them even when they're off the clock?

Reddit user posted an image of what were supposedly Taco Bell social media rules, which plainly state what employees can and can not post on their social media accounts. An acceptable post, for example, is "Hey, if you're looking for a job, the Taco Bell I work at is hiring. Online and in-store applications are available." An unacceptable post would be, "The only good thing about working at Taco Bell are the free freezes." It seems that if Taco Bell employees discuss work on social media, they must talk about it in a positive way. The user wondered if this type of monitoring was "legal" — after all, shouldn't employees be willing to express themselves however they feel about their work? Some agreed with this statement, while others seemed to lean towards Taco Bell's mindset when it laid out these purported rules.

Does Taco Bell really have the right to control what employees say?

The arguments made by Redditors on Taco Bell's supposed social media rules support both the employees and Taco Bell itself. Some argued that employees should be allowed to say how they feel about a job, instead of having to hide their true feelings about their work out of fear of being reprimanded. "Play your social media accounts correctly and they should never know. Keep them locked, anonymous, and don't let coworkers follow," advised a supposed former Taco Bell employee. "Everyone deserves the right to [complain] about their job. ESPECIALLY Taco Bell workers."

Others, however, claimed that Taco Bell's rules were meant to prevent any bad publicity. If an employee was constantly writing bad things about working at Taco Bell, it certainly wouldn't make the company look good. "The employee handbook for my company states you can't discuss the company on social media without prior approval," wrote one user. "It's just covering their butts."

"Why would this be illegal?" commented another user. "You think your employer would be ok with you bad mouthing their palace on the internet?" When it comes to social media posts, many companies are very careful with what employees say — a McDonald's employee was fired in 2017 for showing a filthy drip tray from an ice cream machine on Twitter (via WGN 9 News).