social media in the workplace

Six Million Likes Lead To A Lawsuit


Six Million Likes Lead To A Lawsuit

Employers often want their employees and/or contractors to promote their business via social media. Harnessing the power of a “share” and a “like” can be one of the best ways to raise the profile of any business. Perhaps because of the value of a “like,” an employer was recently sued by a former employee regarding the property interest in over six million “likes” on a Fan Page.

In my article titled “Employee Sues Employer Over Ownership of Six Million Likes” published by Maximize Social Business, I summarize and analyze the case of Mattocks v. Black Entertainment Television, LLC. and offer tips for employers to prevent a costly lawsuit regarding the ownership of “likes”, as well as employee-maintained social media sites.

One tip is to work with an employment law attorney as well as a social media strategist. My clients know that I take a holistic view of the employer’s health, and I will not hesitate to provide a referral to an excellent social media strategist (and other top-notch professionals), as needed. Let’s talk!

Is LinkedIn Violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act?


Is LinkedIn Violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act?

In my December 2014 post for Maximize Social Business, I explored some bad news for LinkedIn. First, in a new class action complaint filed in California (Sweet v. LinkedIn), LinkedIn is facing claims that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).

The lawsuit involves LinkedIn’s “Reference Search” service, which is only available to premium account holders. The service identifies connections in the premium account holder’s network who share a common past employer with the job applicant.

So, essentially, it organizes, cross-references and provides information to premium account holders about those who might have some relevant information about the job applicant’s work at a prior employer.

The four named plaintiffs allege that they were denied jobs with prospective employers because those employers contacted other LinkedIn users identified by the “Reference Search” as having worked with them (and presumably, those identified LinkedIn users did not give positive feedback on the plaintiffs). To see more about this lawsuit, and my analysis of it, read my article titled: “Allegations of LinkedIn Violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act“.

In my same post, I also analyze a $6 million settlement that LinkedIn entered into with the US Department of Labor regarding alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act due to the failure to pay employees all the time worked, including overtime, by those employees.

Employers Will Not “Like” This!


Employers Will Not “Like” This!

These and similar questions were examined by the National Labor Relations Board and, not surprisingly, employers won’t like the decision reached. For my September 2014 post to Maximize Social Business, I explore the details of Sanzone and Spinella vs. Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille. I also provide a few insights to what this decision may mean to both employees and employers.

Does your business discipline employees for such posts? Does your company have policies regarding employee use of social media?

The Law On Social Media and Employment Is Still Evolving


The Law On Social Media and Employment Is Still Evolving

Social media and technology keep advancing at a rapid pace. The law has furiously been trying to catch up. For a short time, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) was at the forefront of creating the framework for social media and employment law. In June 2014, however, the U.S. Supreme Court stalled, at least temporarily, the NLRB’s efforts to create new guidance.

In my July 2014 post for Maximize Social Business, I briefly analyzed the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning and how the Supreme Court will impact the NLRB’s progress. And, I specifically analyzed how this court decision will impact the landscape of social media and employment law. Only time will tell if the NLRB will catch up with its work before technology moves beyond today’s workplace technologies.

Employers: Your Biggest Social Media Risks Identified


Employers: Your Biggest Social Media Risks Identified

Has your business identified your social media risks?

According to a recent world-wide survey, one of the biggest risks employers face regarding social media is: not properly training employees about social media policy. Over 37% of employers who responded to the survey proudly declare they have an air-tight social media in the workplace policy, but they fail to train employees about that policy. Making the additional investment of training can greatly reduce employee misuse of social media and can cut down the business’s need to impose discipline on employees.

The other greatest risk to employers focuses on former employees. A paltry 17.5% of businesses have provisions protecting against misuse of social media by former employees. These employers recognize that a person’s use of social media does not cease just because he or she changes jobs.

In my post for Maximize Social Business, I examine more results from this world-wide survey of businesses and offer some best practices for employers to follow.