UC and Social Media - How to Fight the Tough Cases

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Unemployment Compensation has become a gateway for litigation of all different kinds; it has been further revolutionized by the use of social media and networking both in and outside the workplace. Learn strategic practices on both when and how to fight these claims.

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UC and Social Media - How to Fight the Tough Cases

  1. 1. LITIGATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: FIGHTING THE HARD CASES<br />DEIRDRE J. KAMBER, ESQUIRE<br />
  2. 2. Copyright 2010 (c) Deirdre J. Kamber<br />2<br /><ul><li>UC is a quick hearing in a small room.
  3. 3. Referees are not bound to the Rules of Evidence. These are hearings, not court cases.
  4. 4. These are the easy cases.</li></ul>UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: WHY BE CONCERNED?<br />
  5. 5. 3<br /><ul><li>So, what’s the problem?
  6. 6. Referees view themselves as judges
  7. 7. The Rules of Evidence are now enforced
  8. 8. Many employers do not have up-to-date policies, AND
  9. 9. Employees (AND THEIR LAWYERS) are more excited than ever to bring “wrongful termination” and retaliatory discharge claims: UC is the new gateway to discovery of grounds for other claims.</li></ul>SO, WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?<br />
  10. 10. 4<br />OPPORTUNITIES GALORE<br /><ul><li>It is a chance to get information before bringing a claim.
  11. 11. Phishing expedition
  12. 12. Cheaper than litigation
  13. 13. Learn about defenses
  14. 14. No counsel involved
  15. 15. Sense of justice
  16. 16. It is a chance to get documents before bringing a claim or entering the discovery process.</li></li></ul><li>5<br />UC: OPPORTUNITIES LOST<br /><ul><li>It is a chance to argue that the employer did not fight
  17. 17. It is a chance to argue that the charge of discrimination or lost the argument
  18. 18. It is a chance to argue that the employer
  19. 19. Did not assert termination for cause
  20. 20. Legitimate Business Interest
  21. 21. Pretext
  22. 22. At-will employment</li></li></ul><li>6<br />USES OF UC IN OTHER LITIGATION ACTIONS<br /><ul><li>UC testimony is admissible in other actions
  23. 23. Prior inconsistent statement
  24. 24. Impeachment
  25. 25. Prior consistent statement
  26. 26. Sworn testimony</li></li></ul><li>7<br />UC: FIGHT OR FLIGHT?<br /><ul><li>So, do we fight these cases or not?
  27. 27. What are the pros and what are the drawbacks?
  28. 28. If you fight them….
  29. 29. If you don’t fight them….</li></li></ul><li>8<br /><ul><li>Do we hire counsel or not?
  30. 30. Sometimes yes, and sometimes no
  31. 31. If it’s a complicated case or if you think it’s going toward more litigation, call counsel to be sure: they SHOULD BE GIVING YOU a fair estimate of your chances of success </li></ul>WHEN TO<br />HIRE <br />COUNSEL?<br />
  32. 32. 9<br />WHEN TO<br />HIRE <br />COUNSEL?<br /><ul><li>Do we hire counsel or not?
  33. 33. KNOW WHEN TO HANDLE THINGS YOURSELF AND KNOW WHEN TO HIRE OUT
  34. 34. Your lawyer should be teaching you how to handle cases on your own!</li></li></ul><li>UC AND <br />SOCIAL MEDIA<br />10<br />Copyright 2010 (c) Deirdre J. Kamber<br />
  35. 35. 11<br />OUR TIMELINE ON SOCIAL TECHNOLOGY<br /><ul><li>Where have we come from?
  36. 36. Where are we now?
  37. 37. Where are we going?......
  38. 38. Dave Carroll (United Breaks Guitars)
  39. 39. Huffington Post (United Breaks Guitars)
  40. 40. BP
  41. 41. Dirty Dominos
  42. 42. “Your Newest Asset”</li></li></ul><li>Copyright 2010 (c) Deirdre J. Kamber, All Rights Reserved<br />12<br />The utilization of an online service, <br />platform, or site that focuses<br /> on the building and reflecting of relations among people. <br />Ibibo * Adult FriendFinder * Advogato * Amie Street * ANobii * ASmallWorld * Athlinks * Avatars<br />Last.fm * United * Badoo * Bebo * Bigadda * Big Tent * Biip * Black Planet * Blogster * Broadcaster<br />Yelp, Inc. * Youmeo * Zoo.gr * Buzznet * Café Mom * Cake Financial * Care2 * Classmates.com * Cloob * College Tonight * Couch Surfing * Daily Booth * Daily Strength * Decayenne * Deviant Art * DisABoom * Dol2day * DontStayIn * Draugiem.lv * Elftown * Epernicus * Eons.com * Italki * Experience Project * Exploroo * Facebook * Faceparty * Faces.com * Fetlife * Filmaffinity * Fledgewing * Flixter * Flickr * Fotolog * Friends Reunited * Friendster * Fruhstuckstreff * Fubar * Gaia Online * GamerDNA * Gather.com * Gays.com * Geni.com * Gogyoko *Hi5 * Goodreads * Gossipreport.com * Grono.net * Habbo * Hospitality Club * Imeem * IRC-Galleria <br />InterNations * Itsmy * Iwiw * Jammer Direct * Kaioo<br />Kaixin001 * KIwibox * LibraryThing * LifeKnot<br />LinkedIn * Live Journal * Lunar Storm * MeetIn * Meetup.com * Mobikade * MocoSpace * Mouthshut * <br />Live Mocha * MOG * Mixi * Jaiku * Multiply * Muxlim * <br />MyAnimeList * My Church * My Heritage * My Life * <br />My LOL * My Opera * MySpace * My Yearbook * <br />Masza-klasa.pl * Netlog * Nettby * Nexopia * NGO Post * Ning * Odnoklassniki * OKCupid *<br />One Climate * One World TV * Open Diary * Orkut * OUT Everywhere * Partner Up * Plaxo *<br />Passportstamp * Pingsta * Playahead * Playboy U * Plurk * Present.lv * Qapacity * Quarter-<br />Life * Qzone * Ravelry * Renren * ResearchGate * Reverberation * Ryze * Scispace * Shelfari *<br />Skyrock * Social GO * Social Vibe * Sonico.com * Soundpedia * Stickam * StudiVZ * Super<br />Nova.com * Tagged.com * Talent Trove * Talkbiznow * Taltopedia * TraveBuddy.com * Travel –<br />Lertspoint.com * Tribe.net * Trombi.com * Tuenti.com * Tumblr * Twitter * V Kontakte * Vam-<br />Pirefreaks * Viadeo * Vox * Wakoopa * Wasabi * Wayn * WebBIographies * WeOurFamily *<br />Windows Live Spaces * Wiser Earth * Xanga * Xing * Xt2 * Yammer * Hyves * <br />SOCIAL NETWORKING <br />SOCIAL NETWORKING <br />
  43. 43. 13<br />News<br />Articles<br />News Reports<br />Photo<br />Albums<br />Social Medium – <br />a means for interaction, using accessible and scalable techniques, through web-based technologies, to make monologues into dialogues. <br />From Media<br />From Media<br />Lined Paper<br />Watch<br />News<br />to <br />Social Media<br />Lunch<br />Breaks<br />Filing/<br /> Labeling<br />Bulletin<br />Boards<br />Coffee<br />Breaks<br />
  44. 44. 14<br /><ul><li>Expectations of Privacy
  45. 45. TMI
  46. 46. Online Business Relationships
  47. 47. 24-7 access to the Internet
  48. 48. Third Party Management (Cloud Computing)</li></ul>EMPLOYEE ISSUES WITH SOCIAL MEDIA AND NETWORKING<br />
  49. 49. 15<br />EMPLOYEEISSUES WITH TECHNOLOGY<br /><ul><li>75% of employers use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, or Twitter to research job candidates, according to a CareerBuilder.com survey. 
  50. 50. 70% of employers reported having refused to hire candidates based on content found on those sites. 
  51. 51. Even the Florida Board of Bar Examiners  suggested that bar applicants' web postings may reflect an “applicant's character and fitness not readily observable through the formal interview and application process.”</li></li></ul><li>16<br />EMPLOYER MONITORING AND EXPECTATIONS OF PRIVACY<br /><ul><li>Employees should not expect privacy in their emails or Internet use at the office, or even at home where the workplace is implicated.
  52. 52. Employees should not have an expectation of privacy in Social Networking sites, such as Facebook.
  53. 53. However, if you do not have a policy or enunciate that policy, and a notice of monitoring, you may not be able to enforce it.</li></li></ul><li>17<br /><ul><li>An employer’s unauthorized search of employees’ private MySpace page is a violation of the Stored Communications Act. Pitrylov. Hillstone
  54. 54. Accessing personal webpages without authorization of the employees involved (i.e., getting access from a coworker) is not consent. Pitrylo.
  55. 55. An employer’s accidental review of workphone texts, in connection with a different investigation, may be permissible, even where the employee had an expectation of privacy in the texts. Quon v. City of Ontario.</li></ul>EMPLOYER MONITORING AND EXPECTATIONS OF PRIVACY<br />
  56. 56. 18<br />EMPLOYER MONITORING AND EXPECTATIONS OF PRIVACY<br /><ul><li>Individuals generally possess a reasonable expectation of privacy in their home computers.”).. Crispin v. Christian Audigier, Inc.,
  57. 57. There is a four step test for social media and policy “violations”:
  58. 58. Did the employer have a policy regarding the use of internet services in the workplace?
  59. 59. Did the employer place employees on notice of its intent to view content?
  60. 60. Did the employer actually follow its own policies? </li></ul>Id.<br />
  61. 61. UC BEST <br />PRACTICES<br />19<br />Copyright 2010 (c) Deirdre J. Kamber<br />
  62. 62. 20<br />UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION(UC): BEST PRACTICES<br /><ul><li>How to handle the tough ones:
  63. 63. Prepare ahead of time – follow best practices IN the workplace.
  64. 64. Have relevant policies that are up to date and applicable.
  65. 65. Use your practices.</li></li></ul><li>21<br />UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION(UC): BEST PRACTICES<br /><ul><li>How to handle the tough ones:
  66. 66. Don’t do the PIMP MY RIDE version of policies.
  67. 67. Decide strategy up front. Are you going to fight this? What happens, pro and con, if you lose?
  68. 68. If you used policies, bring them along
  69. 69. Don’t try to apply policies after the fact</li></li></ul><li>UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION(UC): BEST PRACTICES<br />22<br /><ul><li>Have signatures for employee handbooks
  70. 70. Employees are not all bad or all good; avoid the extremes
  71. 71. If you are testifying, make sure you’re credible</li></li></ul><li>UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION(UC): BEST PRACTICES<br />23<br /><ul><li>There is power in numbers. But don’t take it too far.
  72. 72. If you lose, it isn’t the end of the world, in most cases, unless the decision is really unfavorable.
  73. 73. If you lose, and you chose to appeal it to the UCBR or to court, be ready for anything.</li></li></ul><li>UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION(UC): BEST PRACTICES<br />24<br /><ul><li>Don’t bring every piece of paper on earth; think about whether each one could help or hurt you.
  74. 74. Know your referee’s rules.
  75. 75. Avoid “emotional” appeals.</li></li></ul><li>25<br />UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION(UC): BEST PRACTICES<br /><ul><li>On social media:
  76. 76. Have your policies in place
  77. 77. Use both your SNAPs and your Code of Conduct policies
  78. 78. Don’t just cut and paste webpages
  79. 79. Get authorizations
  80. 80. Have your chain of custody ready</li></li></ul><li>26<br />UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION(UC): BEST PRACTICES<br /><ul><li>On social networking:
  81. 81. Apply policies evenly and non-discriminatorily
  82. 82. Do what you say you are going to do
  83. 83. Write up employees when you find out about off-duty conduct relating to the company
  84. 84. Decide how serious the infraction is and be prepared to defend your disciplinary decisions</li></li></ul><li>UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: FIGHTING THE HARD CASES<br />Questions?<br />Comments?<br />Deirdre J. Kamber, Esq., CHP<br />DKamber@FLBLaw.com<br />610.797.9000 ext. 383<br />27<br />Copyright 2010 (c) Deirdre J. Kamber<br />

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