Employers Need a Social Media Policy to Minimize Legal Risks

October 25, 2018

Due to the increasing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat, lots of questions have arisen about the extent to which employers can monitor and regulate the social media use of their employees. Social media can be a great way to build a company’s brand image and develop a loyal customer base.  However, it also provides an endless amount of exposure to liability for employers, whether the employees’ use of social media occurs while they are in the workplace or not.  Employees can easily make inappropriate comments online that violate advertising laws, inappropriate comments about competition, untrue statements about products, post confidential company information, or infringe on another person’s intellectual property.  There have been numerous court cases that have held employers responsible for an employee’s online behavior.  Such cases have found employers liable for harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, discrimination and negligent supervision. 

The best defense can be a good offense.  Every company needs a written policy to protect themselves.  The policy should specify the different types of social media platforms used, who owns the accounts, what content can be shared, and detail inappropriate uses of the accounts.  This policy should also specify what employees say on their own accounts regarding the company and its employees.  It is important to educate employees on how to protect company information and privacy.

Like most policies, a company’s social media policy should reflect its individualized needs, goals and objectives. There is no one size fits all policy so it is imperative to have your social media policy drafted or reviewed by your company’s lawyer prior to implementation. You can contact Wheeler Legal PLLC by calling (321) 209-5995 or email attorney Andrea Wheeler at andrea@wheeler-legal.com to find out how this firm can help you protect your Company.

 

 

Disclaimer: The information contained above is provided for general informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. This firm aims to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this post. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

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