personal devices in the workplace

Employee Tweets Disliked By Federal Trade Commission


Employee Tweets Disliked By Federal Trade Commission

Employee advocacy, aka employee engagement via social media, has been a hot trend with marketers, PR professionals, and business owners. This is because, in many ways, a company’s own employees are the best folks to endorse and promote the company’s own products and services, as well as the products and services of clients and customers. However, harnessing this power takes advanced preparation, guidance and a thoughtful process.

Recently, Deutsch LA caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) when its employees used Twitter to promote a client’s product (Sony’s PS Vita game console). Specifically, the FTC alleged that various Deutsch LA employees posted positive tweets about the PS Vita to their personal Twitter accounts, without disclosing their connection to Deutsch LA or Sony (a client). The FTC charged that the employee tweets were misleading, as they did not reflect the views of actual consumers who had used the PS Vita, and because they did not disclose that they were written by employees of Deutsch LA.

In my January 2015 article titled “Employees’ Tweets Lead to FTC Enforcement” I explore the FTC’s allegations against Deutsch LA and provide some best practices for companies who have employees who use social media (so just about every employer).

More Class Action Lawsuits: Employee Cell Phone Expense


More Class Action Lawsuits: Employee Cell Phone Expense

Many business owners believe that California is a very difficult place to conduct business and to have employees. That belief may soon gain more advocates as a result of a recent California court decision that employers must consider. The Court determined that employers must reimburse employee cell phone expense when employees use their personal phones/mobile devices for work related purposes. The Court focused on California Labor Code Section 2802, among others. The Court reasoned that employers should not benefit from a “windfall” by relying on employees to pay for their own cell phone plans while using such devices for the benefit of employers. This is true, the Court decided, even if the employee does not suffer any additional out of pocket expenses for having their own cell phone plan (for example, employees who have an unlimited plan, or who do not get charged per call, really do not suffer any detriment by using periodically their own devices for work).

You can read more about Cochran v. Schwans Home Services, Inc. and some practical pointers in my October 2014 post titled “Cell Phone Expenses: Next Wave of Employee Class Action Lawsuit?” at Maximize Social Business.

Pitfalls To Avoid With Employee Advocacy


Pitfalls To Avoid With Employee Advocacy

Employee advocacy” is a hot topic among marketers and PR folks these days. This focus on using employees to spread a company’s message via social media is an exciting and seemingly perfect fit for many companies. Simply, why shouldn’t a company harness the power of a faithful workforce? Unfortunately, there are many legal issues that should be examined before any company turns employees loose on social media.

In my post titled “5 Employment Law Considerations For Employee Advocacy” for Maximize Social Business, I examine some of the legal pitfalls to be avoided regarding employee advocacy. Let me know what further pitfalls your company has faced and/or has already addressed? Does your company embrace employee advocacy?

Office Closures Lead To Employment Issues


Office Closures Lead To Employment Issues

The severe winter storms can bring employment issues when employees work from home.

Unexpected office closures due to weather, earthquakes, and other unanticipated events often lead to a variety of employment law/HR issues for employers and employees. Businesses should plan ahead for those unexpected closures so that they are prepared to handle safety, communication, productivity and many other issues.

In my January 2014 post for Maximize Social Business, I examine two social media/technology issues and also the important (and sometimes confusing) issues of wage payment during office closures. The post is titled “Workplace Woes During Weather Worries” but is certainly applicable to closures due to other events besides the recent Polar Vortex.

Image credit – Benjamin Krain/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/AP

 

Maximize Your Social: Add This Book To Your Reading List!


Maximize Your Social: Add This Book To Your Reading List!

Want to know more about Social Media in the Workplace? Add this book to your reading list.

This Spring, I was asked to contribute to “Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success” authored by Neal Schaffer and published by Wiley. I immediately said yes! My contribution to his book focuses on (to the surprise of no one) issues regarding social media in the workplace and policies to address those issues.

This book truly is very helpful for businesses regarding social media strategy and managing the risks associated with social media. Click on the link above for more information about it. You can also follow Maximize Social Business, an Advertising Age Top 100 Global Marketing Blog, for more great content about social media for marketing and business success, including my monthly contributions. This blog was created by Neal Schaffer, who has been named a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer two years in a row.