New Jersey Employers May Not “Like” State’s New Social Media “Privacy Settings”

On August 29, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a new measure prohibiting employers from requiring employees or job applicants to provide login information or allow employer access to their accounts on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. While, under the...

New Law Prohibits Employers in New Jersey From Forcing Workers to Provide User Names or Passwords for Their Social Media Accounts

On August 28, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law a statute, Pub. L. 2013, ch. 155 , prohibiting employers in New Jersey from requiring or requesting that employees or applicants for employment provide or disclose any user name or password for their social media accounts, such as...

Why Employers Should Love, Not Loathe, Social Media

Human resource professionals often cringe at employees’ use of social media. And for good reason. Employees have caused countless problems for their employers by publishing confidential information, attacking supervisors and co-workers, and all sorts public-relations nightmares. Admittedly, social...

The Legal Reason Why You Shouldn’t Force Employees to Turn Over Social Media Passwords

There has been a lot of ink spilled out on the supposed practice of employers requiring employees to provide access to their private social media accounts. I’ve long espoused both that this practice is not occurring with sufficient regularity to justify a legislative fix (despite New Jersey just...

11th Circuit Upholds Facebook Discipline of Police Officer

Here’s another Facebook-firing case to add to the “win” column for public-sector employers. [1] The plaintiff-police officer, Maria Gresham, posted comments on her Facebook page critical of another officer’s involvement in an arrest Gresham had made. Her Facebook page was “set...

Who Owns "Publicly Available" Social Media Content?

Who owns your LinkedIn connections? I’ve blogged about the ownership of social media content a few times already ( here , here , and here ) and I continue to believe that the real battle will be over connections made in the course of business. Are these connections your extended network that...

Another Facebook Firing Is Upheld

Employees in the private sector do not have free-speech rights in their employment, contrary to popular belief. Employees in the public sector, on the other hand, do have such rights, although they are not limitless. When it comes to First Amendment challenges to Facebook firings, employers continue...

Employees Who Social Network at Work for 20 Minutes Are Happier -- and No Less Productive

That social media policy of yours. The one in which you begrudgingly tolerate employee social media use on their own time and roadblock their efforts to use it at work. You may want to revise it. ASAP! Chad Brooks at Business News Daily reports here about a recent study by two members of the Society...

Read This Before You Access Your Employee’s Social Media Accounts

Susan Fredman Design Group employed Jill Maremont as its Director of Marketing, Public Relations, and E-Commerce. In that capacity, she used her own personal Twitter account and Facebook page to promote SFDG’s business. To keep track of the various social media campaigns she was conducting for...

EEOC Holds Public Meeting on Social Media in the Workplace #socialEEO

Yesterday, the EEOC held a public meeting on the use of social media in the workplace, and its impact on the enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws. The commission heard testimony that addressed issues such as recruitment and hiring, harassment, and discovery. According to EEOC Chair Jacqueline...

The EEOC and Social Media: Late to the Party?

The EEOC held a public meeting yesterday that examined how social media is being used in the work place and how it may impact the enforcement of the laws by the EEOC. Public hearings are rare; in the last two years, the Commission has held hearings on pregnant workers and workers with care giving responsibilities;...

ALJ Strikes Social Media Policy Disclaimer for Work-Related Speech

How many of you have social media policies, which contain a provision that reads something like this... "If you identify yourself as an associate of the Company and publish any work-related information online, you must use this disclaimer: 'The postings on this site are my own and don't...

70% of Employers Think Your Social Media Posts Are Their Business

A well-respected management-side firm (and sometimes opposing counsel of mine, I should add), Proskauer, released a study they did on social media this week, and I found it quite disturbing from the employee-side point of view. Their key finding: While nearly 90 percent of companies use social media...

Employers, If You Fire for a Facebook Post, Please, Get a Copy of It First!

The plaintiff is a Michigan lawyer. She was placed on the assignment list of the County Probate Court and, as a result, received several case assignments. She made a comment on Facebook about what she believed to be inefficiency at the Clerk’s Office at the Court in a particular case she was handling...

Does the NLRB "Like" Your Social Media Policy?

A recent decision from the National Labor Relation Board's ("NLRB's") Division of Judges further exemplifies the NLRB's proactive approach in scrutinizing both union and non-union employers' social media policies. In Kroger Co. v. Granger , the judge found that several provisions...

Oops! My Bad! Facebook Firing Based on Mistake

Contrary to popular belief, employees may be lawfully terminated for comments or pictures that they post on social-networking sites. The law also permits employers to make honest mistakes. An employer who makes the decision to terminate an employee based on an honest, but mistaken belief that the employee...

Why Employee Use of Social Media "Off the Clock" May Still Impact Your Workplace

A few weeks, ago I was speaking about social media and the workplace to a fabulous audience at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo . ( Email me if you want a copy of my slidedeck). One of my session themes was that there is no such thing as employees using social media "off the clock."...

What Does the ADA Say About Employee Medical Information and Social Media?

The ADA protects, as confidential, employee medical information obtained by an employer. Last year, I asked the following questions about the impact of social media on this confidentiality obligation: What happens, however, when an employee suffers an on-the-job injury and a supervisor shares information...

Should You Block Social Media at Work?

One of my summer television addictions is NY Med , which follows surgeons around some of the New York metro area’s busiest hospitals. One this summer’s episodes focused on a man who had been hit by a subway train. An ER nurse Instagrammed a photo of the empty trauma room, along with the caption...

An Unconstitutional Workplace Social Media Policy?

Can an employer's social media policy be unconstitutional? Maybe - if it's a public employer. We may get some insight into the constitutional boundaries of public employer social media policies in a new lawsuit filed against a sheriff's office in Texas. The case is Pittman v. Garcia. You...

Keeping Secrets on Social Media

The title of this post is a bit laughable, isn’t it? I mean, really, it’s almost an oxymoron. Keeping secrets on social media? What’s the point? The very existence of social media is dependent upon sharing—not secret-keeping. But the two are intersecting more and more. Which is...

Keeping Secrets on Social Media: Part II

Employees telling secrets online was the subject of yesterday's post, Keeping Secrets on Social Media . Today's post--a continuation of the theme from yesterday--is about "auto-expire" apps. An "auto-expire" app is an app that enables users to set an automatic expiration...

Social Media Blunders Cost a Chef and a Chief Their Jobs

More proof that both entry-level employees and C-Suite executives can do dumb stuff and receive the Vince McMahon treatment ... No shirt, no sense, no job. When I go out to eat, I'm not that picky. While I often have a taste of fine dining, I can do beer and wings with the best of 'em....

Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion: Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media

The PBA Ethics Committee issued a formal opinion on Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media (HT: Dan Siegel on Legal Intelligencer ). The opinion is jam-packed with 18 pages of social media goodness on 10 main issues. Spoiler Alert! The committee concludes that: 1. Attorneys may advise...

Can You Fire an Employee Who Posts Nazi Propaganda on Facebook?

Maybe you've heard about it. I'm giving a little spiel today on social media in the workplace with a few friends at an event in Philadelphia. If I play my cards right, I'll do as little speaking as possible on the dais. Which means I'll get my two cents in and discuss on a hockey coach...