Dallas City Hall Workers in Trouble/Treated for Too Much Facebook Use

Do you find yourself constantly looking at Facebook photos from your neighbor’s cousin’s 4th of July party? Or reading bios of friends of friends you’d like to ask out? Or building fences around your Farmville pig trough? If so, you may have a Facebook addiction. And while that may not seem as troublesome as substance abuse — or some guy who STILL can’t stop singing "Pokerface" (sorry, coworkers) — if you’re doing it at work, it’s an issue. The City Hall in Dallas, Texas recently discovered its staffers were spending way too much time on the site, and decided to handle it by offering counseling and reprimands:

Constantly checking Facebook at work may get you in trouble.

Two dozen Dallas City Hall workers received reprimands or counseling after a recent probe showed they spent too much time on the social networking site.

“It’s [Facebook at work] definitely on the ‘bad idea’ side,” said Dallas attorney Travis Crabtree. “You hear lots of horror stories out there about employees posting things about how they’re either playing hooky, or just fiddling around while they’re at the office and getting in trouble for it when their boss sees it.”

City officials are working on new employee guidelines for social media use. Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm says employees aren’t allowed to do personal business when they’re being paid by taxpayers.

“Computer equipment belongs to the company and technically your time belongs to the company too, while you’re there,” said Crabtree.

Cesar Baptista, an assistant director in the water department, had Facebook open for 68 hours during a three-month period. But Baptista said he often opened his Facebook page in the morning and didn’t close it while he did other things. He says he no longer opens the site at work.