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Employer liability and social media


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Recent case law and new technologies have raised the prospect of employer liability for the statements of employees on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Liability can arise from posts made both during the course of work hours, and after normal business hours. Such posts can result in the intentional, or unintentional disclosure of confidential information, and may give rise to potential damage to both the employer’s and the customers’ reputations.

Employers should develop specific policies dealing with social media. These policies should outline the employer’s expectations, and the fact that employers may insist on reasonable restriction on access to such sites. These policies should also outline how the employer intends to enforce them, up to and including dismissing the employee posting the material for cause.

Earl Altman, Garfinkle, Biderman LLP

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Earl Altman

Legal consultant at EA Consulting
Earl Altman was a partner at Garfinkle, Biderman and now heads his own consulting firm. Earl has practiced commercial and employment litigation. Earl’s practice focuses on employment disputes, including acting for employees and employers in wrongful dismissal claims, and in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty claims. Read more
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2 thoughts on “Employer liability and social media
  • Matt L. says:

    I also agree that prudent employers need to update their policies.

    I, like Lisa Stam, would also be interested in the “recent changes in case law and legislation that you speak of.” I am fairly up to date on this topic and am unaware of any such changes so would be interested in what you are speaking of. Thanks.

  • Lisa Stam says:

    Earl – I very much agree that employers need to update their policies to deal with social media and computer/technology issues in general.

    I am curious to what specific changes in the case law and legislation you are referring? Thanks.