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Employee Social Media Policies

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Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota - Summary of October 25 - Social Media Policies, Laws, and Guidelines

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Employee Social Media Policies

  1. 1. October 25, 2012 Presented by Erin Schulte Swanson @esswansonlaw facebook/es.swanson.law Erin Schulte Swanson3340-B Annapolis Lane N Plymouth, MN 55447 www.swansonlawmn.com (612) 564-5292
  2. 2. The Social Media Explosion © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. The Social Media Explosion Politicians are using Twitter and Facebook to help their campaigns. Celebrities use social media to stay in the public eye. The Dalai Lama posts advice on Twitter daily. NFL fines players for tweeting during games. White Sox manager was suspended for complaining about an official on Twitter after he was ejected from a game. Regulations for the 2012 Olympics restricted social media use. KLM is testing a new “Meet and Seat” program. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. In the Courtroom Impeaching witnesses Confessing guilt Modifying alimony Screening jurors for bias Serving summons (not yet in the United States) © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. The Point: IT’S ALL EVIDENCE! © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Social Media Law The law has not kept up with social media. Lawsuits regarding social media use by businesses are now cropping up. It will take time for the law to catch up to the social media explosion. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Minimizing Damage fromEmployee Posts © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Problem: Damage to Reputation © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Problem: Loss of Clients/Business Relationships © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Problem: Employer Liabilityfor Employees’ Posts Employer is liable for the acts an employee performs within the scope of his/her employment. Even if a post is made outside the scope of employment, defense of a claim can be expensive. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Solutions Determine whether you want to allow social media use at work or using work resources. Establish a policy for employees’ proper use of social media accounts. Monitor employee posts on company accounts. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Social Media Policies: Key Points  Whether social media use on company time is allowed  Whether social media use on company resources is allowed  Prohibit disclosure of confidential information (regarding the company or its clients)  Prohibit sharing of inappropriate photos or images  BEWARE: Policy cannot violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which allows employees to communicate among themselves to protect or protest their working conditions. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Hotdogs:Protected Under the NLRA? © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Social Media Policies: Key Points  Notice of monitoring of company computers, tablets, phones, etc.  Prohibition of false, derogatory, or negative posts regarding the company or its employees, vendors, or service, except for communications protected under the NLRA  Notice that violation may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Who owns the account? Tricky when part of an employee’s job is to post on social media accounts  Copyright considerations  Right to privacy issues  Company marketing & branding Recent case: Maremont v. Susan Fredman Design Group © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. © 2011 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Solutions Specify in the governing contract who will own the account. Use labels to identify the author of specific posts: © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Additional Policy Points forSocial Media Employees Clearly define ownership of accounts and content (must also be addressed in employment agreements) Establish a content approval process State restrictions on user names/account establishment process Outline expectations of types and frequency of posts Set timelines for responding to inquiries and interactions Set boundaries for ethical and appropriate interaction online Define a complaint response procedure Establish rules for sharing photographs of people Explain rules for use of trademarks and copyrights Designate individual(s) to contact with questions © 2012 ES Swanson Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Questions?erin@SwansonLawMN.com612-564-5292www.SwansonLawMN.comtwitter.com/esswansonlawfacebook.com/es.swanson.lawErin Schulte Swanson

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