Social Media and Municipalities – Reaping Benefits, Controlling Harms and More<br />OMEX PD Day - June 2, 2011<br />Dan Mi...
Outline<br />Harm from off-duty expression<br />So you want to blog eh?<br />Policy model for managing social media risks<...
Current Employees as Communicators<br />Bob and Sue had a long day. They go to the Dirty Dog Pub after work and, over the ...
Current Employees as Communicators<br />Jack had a long day. He goes home, cracks open a beer, and boots up his home compu...
Current Employees as Communicators<br />Duty of fidelity applies when employee expression is likely to negatively affect a...
Current Employees as Communicators<br />Employee speech can negatively…<br />…affect an employer’s duty to other employees...
So you want to blog eh?<br />Tim is the CAO at an upper tier municipality who fancies himself a social media guru. He send...
So you want to blog eh?<br />Risks<br />Tim could now be responsible for everything his employees do online<br />The munic...
Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />Municipalities should consider two policies<br />One that guides all employees<br />On...
Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />Policy for all employees – theme<br />You can do it if you want<br />Here’s how you me...
Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />Policy for all employees – content<br />Start with a statement of principle<br />Then ...
Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />License “deputized communicators” on special terms<br />Establish clear objectives<br ...
Employees as Targets<br />Josie is a senior municipal administrator who has gone though some tough personal circumstances....
Employees as Targets<br />The story runs in the news, and is re-posted by a local citizens’ advocate. Over the next week a...
Employees as Targets<br />Duty to provide a safe and harassment free workplace<br />Under human rights legislation<br />In...
Employees as Targets<br />A defamation claim is about damage to reputation<br />It is a very personal claim, about vindica...
Employees as Targets<br />A defamation claim is about damage to reputation<br />An employer may have duty to support an em...
Employees as Targets<br />Consider the expression, don’t react to it<br />Show support for the employee<br />If you take s...
Social Media and Municipalities – Reaping Benefits, Controlling Harms and More<br />OMEX PD Day - June 2, 2011<br />Dan Mi...
To contact me<br />Dan Michaluk<br />daniel-michaluk@hicksmorley.com(416) 864-7253 http://ca.linkedin.com/in/danmichaluk<b...
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Managing Social Media Risks for Municpalities

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A one hour presentation to Ontario municipal administrators.

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Managing Social Media Risks for Municpalities

  1. 1. Social Media and Municipalities – Reaping Benefits, Controlling Harms and More<br />OMEX PD Day - June 2, 2011<br />Dan Michaluk<br />
  2. 2. Outline<br />Harm from off-duty expression<br />So you want to blog eh?<br />Policy model for managing social media risks<br />Current employees as targets<br />
  3. 3. Current Employees as Communicators<br />Bob and Sue had a long day. They go to the Dirty Dog Pub after work and, over the course of four hours, take jabs at their supervisor, Phil.<br />
  4. 4. Current Employees as Communicators<br />Jack had a long day. He goes home, cracks open a beer, and boots up his home computer.<br />Using a picture of his supervisor taken from the company intranet and some internet based software, he alters the picture so the manager looks ridiculous.<br />Jack posts it to his Facebook page. He feels good.<br />
  5. 5. Current Employees as Communicators<br />Duty of fidelity applies when employee expression is likely to negatively affect a legitimate employer interest<br />All other activity is “private”<br />The kind of social interaction we engage in today is more likely to conflict with employer interests<br />Duty of fidelity is the basis for conflict of interest and other restrictive policy<br />Charter of Rights and Freedoms invites a very contextual balancing, but duty of loyalty can prevail<br />
  6. 6. Current Employees as Communicators<br />Employee speech can negatively…<br />…affect an employer’s duty to other employees<br />…affect an employee’s ability to do his/her job<br />…affect public perception of employee performance<br />…affect an employer’s reputation*<br />*though government entities must tread carefully<br />
  7. 7. So you want to blog eh?<br />Tim is the CAO at an upper tier municipality who fancies himself a social media guru. He sends and e-mail to all that says, “We ought to be leaders in our field. Accordingly, I encourage all of you to use social media to advance our municipal interests.” <br />
  8. 8. So you want to blog eh?<br />Risks<br />Tim could now be responsible for everything his employees do online<br />The municipality may now be responsible for a large wage and overtime bill for “work” assigned by Tim<br />
  9. 9. Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />Municipalities should consider two policies<br />One that guides all employees<br />One that guides those who are licensed to speak on behalf of the municipality<br />
  10. 10. Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />Policy for all employees – theme<br />You can do it if you want<br />Here’s how you meet our expectations<br />Be careful<br />If you publish to “friends” you’re still accountable<br />Identifying yourself as an employee comes with risks<br />Identify special risks (e.g., relating to care and control of sensitive personal information)<br />
  11. 11. Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />Policy for all employees – content<br />Start with a statement of principle<br />Then rules that address<br />Confidential information, personal information<br />Respect for other employees, clients, citizens<br />Conflict of interest, conflict with job duties<br />Time theft<br />Refer to other policies<br />Offer support<br />
  12. 12. Policy Model for Managing Risk<br />License “deputized communicators” on special terms<br />Establish clear objectives<br />Identify forbidden topics - never<br />Identify safe topics – go for it, no review<br />Create a workable review process<br />Measure time, effort and outcome<br />Pay wages for work, reward performance<br />
  13. 13. Employees as Targets<br />Josie is a senior municipal administrator who has gone though some tough personal circumstances. One fall evening she’s caught driving 140km down a side road under the influence and is charged.*<br />*Scenario entirely fictitious<br />
  14. 14. Employees as Targets<br />The story runs in the news, and is re-posted by a local citizens’ advocate. Over the next week about 50 others (all anonymous) post comments. The dialog degrades quickly to one about the employee’s sexual reputation. Defamatory comments are made about her and other municipal employees.<br />What’s a CAO to do?<br />
  15. 15. Employees as Targets<br />Duty to provide a safe and harassment free workplace<br />Under human rights legislation<br />In some provinces under health and safety legislation<br />There must be a nexus to the workplace<br />If there is, there is a duty to take reasonable steps to provide a safe and harassment free workplace<br />
  16. 16. Employees as Targets<br />A defamation claim is about damage to reputation<br />It is a very personal claim, about vindication of reputation<br />It is hard on plaintiffs because it invites a trial of their reputation<br />Injunctive relief is generally not available<br />
  17. 17. Employees as Targets<br />A defamation claim is about damage to reputation<br />An employer may have duty to support an employee who has been defamed (fact-specific)<br />But it is highly questionable that supporting a defamation lawsuit is part of that duty<br />
  18. 18. Employees as Targets<br />Consider the expression, don’t react to it<br />Show support for the employee<br />If you take steps to facilitate “takedown,” make clear that you’re taking one step at a time<br />Frame your engagement properly from the outset<br />Tell the employee to get independent legal advice (Defamation claims are time-sensitive!)<br />
  19. 19. Social Media and Municipalities – Reaping Benefits, Controlling Harms and More<br />OMEX PD Day - June 2, 2011<br />Dan Michaluk<br />
  20. 20. To contact me<br />Dan Michaluk<br />daniel-michaluk@hicksmorley.com(416) 864-7253 http://ca.linkedin.com/in/danmichaluk<br />twitter: @danmichaluk<br />

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