Strict social media rules can lead to lawsuits


Strict rules over social media use in the workplace can lead to lawsuits alleging wrongful termination or First Amendment violations.

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Strict rules over social media use in the workplace can lead to lawsuits alleging wrongful termination or First Amendment violations.

On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board approved a settlement for Dawnmarie Souza, who was fired by her former employer after posting a Facebook comment critical of her employer.

“Social media is new, and everyone is still getting used to it, but it’s real and it’s not going away,” said Rich Meneghello, an employment lawyer and managing partner of the Portland office of Fisher & Phillips. “The lines will be drawn and the laws will be fleshed out, but everything is so fluid right now that these types of legal battles are rife with danger for both sides.”

Meneghello suggests crafting a policy around respectfulness and positive portrayal of the company, with mention of social media whenever pertinent. This gives a written policy to point to in case something happens, he said, but doesn’t restrict an employee’s right to free speech.

Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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