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Category Archives: Employment Law

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Ownership of Business-Related Social Media Accounts

Posted in Employment Law

Socially Aware is pleased to announce that Van Rye Publishing has published the article “Ownership of Business-Related Social Media Accounts” by Morrison & Foerster partner Aaron Rubin and associate Anelia Delcheva in the book Employers and the Law: 2013-14 Anthology of Best Articles.  The book is a collection of articles covering ongoing and emerging legal… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The April Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, Discovery, DMCA, E-Discovery, Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Privacy, Wearable Computers

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we summarize the current status of various state laws restricting employer access to the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees; we explore how… Continue Reading

Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, ‘Friend’ Requests and Workplace Investigations

Posted in Employment Law, Privacy

A 2013 CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers and human resource professionals reports that more than two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. This interest in social networking does not end when the candidate is hired: to the contrary, companies are seeking to leverage the personal social media networks of their… Continue Reading

Social Media 2014: Addressing Corporate Risks

Posted in Employment Law, Event, IP, Online Promotions, Privacy

Please join Socially Aware editor John Delaney as he chairs Practising Law Institute’s (PLI) “Social Media 2014: Addressing Corporate Risks.” Issues to be addressed at the conference include: Social media: how it works, and why it is transforming the business world Drafting and updating social media policies User-generated content and related IP concerns Ensuring protection… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Available

Posted in Employment Law, Financial Institutions, First Amendment, FTC, Privacy

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we summarize the FFIEC’s recently-issued final guidance on social media use by financial institutions; we report on a new NLRB decision holding that particularly egregious… Continue Reading

Uncovering a Line in the Sand: Employee Social Media Use and the NLRA

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation

If an employee calls his supervisor a “nasty motherf[**]ker” on Facebook, would the employee lose the protection that he would otherwise enjoy under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?  Probably not, according to National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) decisions like Pier Sixty LLC. In Pier Sixty, an employee reacted to a labor dispute by posting… Continue Reading

Refining the First Amendment Status of Social Media Activity by Government Employees

Posted in Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Pickering v. Board of Education allows governmental employers, including law enforcement agencies, to fire or discipline employees for disrupting operations with excessive complaining, but it prohibits governmental employers from firing or disciplining an employee for speaking out on matters of public concern as a private citizen if the employee’s… Continue Reading

Data Protection Masterclass Webinar: Spotlight on Social Media Marketing and Policies

Posted in Employment Law, Event, Online Promotions, Privacy

Our global privacy + data security group’s Data Protection Masterclass Webinar series is turning the spotlight on social media marketing and policies in January. Please join Socially Aware contributors Christine Lyon and Karin Retzer, along with Ann Bevitt in our London office for a webinar that will examine the laws and regulations in the United… Continue Reading

Ownership of Business-Related Social Media Accounts

Posted in Employment Law, IP, Litigation, Online Promotions

Social media platforms have become an increasingly important means for companies to build and manage their brands and to interact with their customers, in many cases eclipsing companies’ traditional “.com” websites. Social media providers typically make their platforms available to users without charge, but companies nevertheless invest significant time and other resources to create and… Continue Reading

Two Circuits Address the First Amendment Status of Facebook Activity

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy, Supreme Court

Two recent U.S. appellate court decisions have clarified the extent to which the First Amendment protects the social media activities of government employees.  In Gresham v. City of Atlanta, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found that an individual’s First Amendment interest in posting to Facebook is reduced when he or she configures… Continue Reading

Collaborative Consumption – Is It Good to Share?

Posted in Employment Law, FTC, Privacy

Peer-to-peer (“P2P”) business models based on the Internet and technology platforms have become increasingly innovative.  As such models have proliferated, they frequently result in clashes with regulators or established market competitors using existing laws as a defensive tactic.  The legal battles that result illustrate the need for proactive planning and consideration of the likely legal… Continue Reading

Recent UK Court Rulings on Employees’ Use of LinkedIn

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Terms of Use, UK High Court

Following our post on U.S. lawsuits concerning the ownership of LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, we report on a recent United Kingdom High Court ruling that considered who was entitled to operate four LinkedIn Groups, and other UK cases that have addressed related issues. Before we describe the High Court’s ruling, it is important to provide… Continue Reading

Socially Aware Looks Back: The Social Media Law Year in Review

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

2012 was a momentous year for social media law. We’ve combed through the court decisions, the legislative initiatives, the regulatory actions and the corporate trends to identify what we believe to be the ten most significant social media law developments of the past year–here they are, in no particular order: Bland v. Roberts – A… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Now Available

Posted in Employment Law, FCC, FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Statistics, Terms of Use, Trademark

In the latest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we look at recent First Amendment, intellectual property, labor and privacy law developments affecting corporate users of social media and the Internet. We also recap major events from 2012 that have had a substantial impact on… Continue Reading

Social Media and the National Labor Relations Act: What Employers Need to Know in Drafting and Updating Their Social Media Policies

Posted in Employment Law

This article was first published by ALM Media Properties LLC in Internet Law & Strategy (January 2013). For over a year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been taking employers to task for intruding too far into employees’ social media activities. The NLRB’s enforcement actions have provided a well-publicized reminder that the protections of… Continue Reading

New California Law Limits Employer Access to Employee Social Media Accounts

Posted in Employment Law, Privacy

On September 27, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that restricts employer access to the “personal social media” of employees and applicants for employment. Assembly Bill 1844 (“AB 1844”) adds to the California Labor Code new section 980.  Under this section, an employer may not “require or request” an employee or applicant to… Continue Reading

Update: What’s Not to Like?

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

As we reported earlier this year, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held in Bland v. Roberts that merely “liking” a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection. In the case, former employees of the Hampton Sheriff’s Office brought a lawsuit against Sheriff B.J. Roberts, in his individual and official… Continue Reading

The NLRB Weighs In (Again) On Social Media Policies

Posted in Employment Law

With the issuance of its third guidance document on workplace social media policies in the past year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to refine its position on how to craft workplace social media policies that are consistent with the terms of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Section 7 of the NLRA provides… Continue Reading

Interview with Debbie Rosenbaum regarding Bland v. Roberts

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

As a result of her recent Socially Aware blog post What’s Not to Like, our contributor Debbie Rosenbaum has been interviewed by LXBN TV regarding Bland v. Roberts, the recent (and controversial) federal court decision holding that “liking” a Facebook page does not constitute protected speech under the First Amendment.  Click below to watch the… Continue Reading

Maryland Enacts First Law Prohibiting Employers From Requesting Passwords to Employees’ Online Personal Accounts

Posted in Employment Law, Privacy

In our recent Socially Aware blog post, we noted that a number of pending state bills are seeking to ban employers from requesting confidential login information, including social media login information, as a condition of employment.  In fact, on April 9, 2012, Maryland passed Senate Bill 433/HB 964, prohibiting employers from requesting current and prospective… Continue Reading

What’s Not to Like?

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

A recent district court decision highlights the growing prevalence of issues relating to new media technologies arising in the courtroom.  In Bland v. Roberts, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that merely “liking” a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection. Five former employees of the Hampton Sheriff’s… Continue Reading

What’s Your Facebook Password?

Posted in Employment Law, FCC, Federal Communications Commission Reform Act, Privacy

According to press reports, a growing number of employers require job applicants to disclose their login information for Facebook or other social media accounts as a condition of employment.  While this practice may very well fall on the wrong side of the law, lawyers and lawmakers are still in the process of establishing the framework… Continue Reading

District Court Considers Value of Twitter Account

Posted in Employment Law, IP, Terms of Use

“Man, what do I write here? And what’s it going to be valued at?” So read Noah Kravitz’s Twitter profile soon after Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James of the Northern District of California denied Kravitz’s motion to dismiss a number of claims brought against him by his former employer related to the Twitter account. While Kravitz… Continue Reading