Presentation on theme: "EPLI LITIGATION: ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION BETWEEN EMPLOYEES’ USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING AND EMPLOYERS’ EXPOSURES?"— Presentation transcript:
EPLI LITIGATION: ONE DEGREE OF SEPARATION BETWEEN EMPLOYEES’ USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKING AND EMPLOYERS’ EXPOSURES?
Introductions MODERATOR: Mercedes Colwin, Esq., Managing Partner, Gordon & Rees LLP PANELISTS: Sarah Goldstein, Esq., Partner, Kaufman Dolowich Voluck & Gonzo, LLP Catherine Padalino, Vice President, EPL Product Manager, Chubb Specialty Insurance Lisa A. Turbis, Esq., Senior Corporate Counsel, Litigation & Marketing, Autodesk, Inc. John S. West, Esq., Partner, Allred, Maroko & Goldberg
Agenda Social Networking Claims Company Practices and Procedures Preventing or Mitigating Effect of Social Media The Reputational Risk for your Company
Social Media Today
The Social Media Revolution
Social Media Today Weblogs Commercial Websites Industry Forums Industry Boards
Improper Discovery of Personal Information Viewing of Employee Online Conduct and Company Liability Unlawful Invasion of Privacy Illegal Background Checks What Constitutes a Social Networking Claim?
The Hiring Process
What Can be Used in the Hiring Process Experience Future Goals Google Information Online Editorials
What Cannot be Used in the Hiring Process Age Sex Religion Disability Race/Color National Origin Pregnancy
Employers Rights vs. Lifestyle Statutes Political Activities Legal Use of Consumable Products Legal Recreational Activities Union Membership
The National Labor Review Board (NLRB) The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees' rights
The Role of the NLRB Conduct Elections Investigate Charges Facilitate Settlements Decide Cases Enforce Orders
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Creates a right for private-sector employees to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of mutual aid or protection
The NLRA Section VII Defines what is a protected activity New report states certain policies regarding employees' use of the social media may violate Section VII
Company Practices and Procedures
Discriminatory Recruitment Consideration given only to applicants with: Online profiles Specific information on their profiles Social networking profiles Large number of friends/contacts
NLRB Provides Guidance for Employers on Social Media Policies Social media policies should be narrowly tailored Should not prohibit “concerted activity” via social media Union and non-union employees alike are covered by the NLRA
The Overly Broad Policy Overly broad social networking policies include prohibiting: the use of social media to post pictures employees “making disparaging comments” engaging “in inappropriate discussions about the company, management, and/or coworkers” employees from using the company’s name, address or other information
How to Narrow Social Networking Policies Should be clear and understandable Policies should be narrowly drawn Put employees on notice of a social media policy’s coverage Limiting language
Social Networking Policies Indentify acceptable and unacceptable uses of social media Minimize negative reactions Specify easy-to-understand guidelines and require employees to meet them
What is Acceptable Policy? Personnel must post under their own name and write in the first person All individuals must not cite or reference clients, employees, members, or other affiliated persons or entities There is no expectation of privacy online
Recent Social Networking Claims
Fired Because of Facebook?
The LB&B Associate Firings Routine background check leaves 18 Navy Contractors jobless Provided no details of investigation “No Determination Made” assessment Information could be outdated or wrong Employee unable to appeal
The Accenture Class Action International management consulting firm Accused of firing qualified individuals with criminal records Criminal history has no bearing on position Discriminates against African Americans and Latinos
Martin Gaskell v. University of Kentucky Passed over to be director of Student Observatory Perceived to be critical of evolution in contrast with the University
The Preventing or Mitigating Effect of Social Networking Claims
Third Party Vendor Searches Must Comply to the Fair Credit Reporting Act Protects Privacy Applicants Must Consent
Have Policies in Place Fair Hiring and Recruitment Training Discrimination and Harassment Employee Rights Narrow Social Media Policies
How can Social Media Affect my Company?
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Questions & Answers
Many thanks to … Mercedes Colwin, Esq. Sarah Goldstein, Esq. Catherine Padalino Lisa A. Turbis, Esq. John West, Esq.