Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

When protected concerted activity isn’t protected

Netflix has fired three marketing executives for criticizing their co-workers over Slack. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "the executives in question thought the messages were private. An insider says an employee stumbled across several months’ worth of these messages and reported it."

Thursday, February 27, 2020

PLEASE, I’m freaking begging you, DO NOT use social media to determine applicants’ race and gender

Almost as long as social media has existed, employers have searched social media to dig up dirt on prospective employees. There is nothing illegal about these searches … provided you don’t use the information unlawfully. For example, to discriminate on the basis of a protected class.

If Lisa McCarrick, a former Amazon manager, wins her lawsuit against the online retailer, Amazon is going to learn this lesson the hard way.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

EEOC settlement provides expensive lesson on including social media in your anti-harassment policies and training

EEOC v. Nabors Corp. Services involves serious allegations of racial harassment, including the following.

Being addressed at work by co-workers with racial slurs such as “nigger”; being exposed at work to offensive, racially derogatory social media images and material circulated by co-workers and managers; being exposed to racist graffiti, including racial slurs and derogatory drawings concerning Black persons at company facilities in and around Pleasanton, Texas; being referred to as members of the “colored crew” by employees and managers; and in some instances, being subjected to intimidation and physical threats by employees because of race, Black.

The company recently resolved this case, agreeing to pay 10 employees a total of $1,225,000 to settle the EEOC’s claims of racial harassment, race discrimination, and retaliation.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Social media accounts are not telling you the whole story about your applicants and employees

If you rely on social media to paint for you a full and complete picture about your job applicants and employees, you are going to be very disappointed.

According to a recent survey, 43% of workers use privacy settings to keep material hidden from employers, and 46% have searched for their own names and taken further measures to conceal their social media presence based on what they found.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Facebook video sinks employee’s FMLA claim

Everything was going swimmingly for Thomas Dunger during his approved FMLA leave from his job as a mechanic for Union Pacific Railroad … until he decided to go on a fishing trip during his leave and a co-worker started live streaming their excursion on Facebook. A coworker showed the video to Dunger’s supervisor, who charged him with dishonesty for improper FMLA use. To his benefit (or, cynically, because he knew he had been hooked), at his disciplinary hearing Dunger copped to the fishing trip. His late-to-the-game attempt at honesty, however, did not save his job, and Union Pacific ultimately fired him. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Do your employees understand that social media is a very public conversation?

“It’s 2019. All of our employees have been on Facebook for years. Many are also on Twitter, and Instagram, and … We don’t need to do any social media training.”

If you’ve had these thoughts or internal conversations, allow me to offer Exhibit 1 as to why you are wrong.

Texas district votes to fire teacher who tried to report
undocumented students to Trump on Twitter

Monday, May 13, 2019

Crasslighting — Oops, #NotYou is NEVER a defense to #MeToo

Gaslighting — the manipulation of someone by psychological means to question their own sanity. It’s a term you’ve likely heard of.

But, have you heard of crasslighting? Me neither, until I read Did he just harass you or are you imagining it? You might be a victim of ‘crasslighting.’ in The Washington Post.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Your employees do not understand their (lack of) free speech rights

Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech….

So reads the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

Take note that it does not say, “You have absolute freedom of speech in all things at all times.” It only prohibits government-imposed restrictions on speech.

Yet, just last week, President Trump tweeted the following:

I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms. This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!

I promise you that if the President of the United States does not understand how the 1st Amendment works, your employees don’t understand it either.

Monday, March 11, 2019

What a lawful "civility" policy looks like under the NLRB's Boeing test

Consider and compare the following workplace civility policies:

Commitment to My Co-Workers
  • I will accept responsibility for establishing and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships with you and every member of this team.
  • I will talk to your promptly if I am having a problem with you. The only time I will discuss it with another person is when I need advice or help in deciding how to communicate with you appropriately.
  • I will not complain about another team member and ask you not to as well. If I hear you doing so, I will ask you to talk to that person.
  • I will be committed to finding solutions to problems rather than complaining about them or blaming someone for them, and ask you to do the same. 



Blogging outside of the hospital must not include … disparaging comments about the hospital.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

If you weren’t angry about the fired Saints cheerleader before, you will be now.

Remember Bailey Davis? She’s the New Orleans Saints cheerleader fired for violating the team’s social media policy.

Her offense? This photo, which she posted to her personal Instagram.

She’s already filed a civil rights complaint, and now she’s speaking out about her alleged discriminatory treatment, and discriminatory policies in professional cheerleading in general.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Cyclist fired for flipping off Presidential motorcade sues former employer

You may recall Juli Briskman, the biker that flipped the finger to Trump’s passing motorcade, and lost her job after a photo she posted went viral.

Ms. Briskman is not taking her termination lying down. In what appears to be a deep-funded and well-orchestrated campaign, she has filed suit in Virginia state court against her ex-employer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Let’s all try to remember to have gender-neutral employment policies

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis has filed a complaint with the EEOC accusing her former employer of having one set of rules for its male players, and another for its female cheerleaders.

The Saints fired Davis after it claimed she violated a rule prohibiting cheerleaders from appearing in photos nude, semi-nude, or in lingerie. She had posted a photo of herself in a one-piece outfit to her private Instagram.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Some lessons from the employee fired for middle-fingering Trump’s motorcade

Have your heard about Juli Briskman, the biker that flipped the finger to Trump’s passing motorcade?

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Jemele Hill story underscores employees lack of understanding about personal social media and work

Social media has irreparably torn down the wall that has historically separated one’s work life from one’s personal life.

Earlier this week, ESPN personality Jemele Hill learned this lesson the hard way.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Baring it all on social media and hiring

I’ve never written about the time I stripped naked in front of my entire law school … until now.

Well, here we go.

Monday, August 21, 2017

A deep dive on social media, employee privacy, and the workplace

When history closes its book on 21st century America, Charlottesville may go down as one of its most significant chapters. If justice has any place in our world, it will prove to be a turning point on race relations in our nation. Or at least that is my hope. In the wake of this tragedy, journalists have spilled, and will continue to spill, a lot of ink.

One of the favorite articles I read in the past week was, Can an employee be fired for activities outside the workplace?, by Kathryn Moody at (and not just because the article is an interview with me; thanks to Kathryn for the interview). 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How much wasted work-time is too much?

According to a recent survey conducted by OfficeTeam, on average, employees spend 8 hours per workweek on non-work activities.

What does this non-work time look like?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Does a LinkedIn request violate a non-solicitation agreement?

In Bankers Life and Casualty Company v. American Senior Benefits (Ill. Ct. App. 8/7/17), Bankers Life sued a former sales manager, Gregory Gelineau, for violating the following non-solicitation agreement after he jumped ship to American Senior Benefits, a competitor:
During the term of this Contract and for 24 months thereafter, within the territory regularly serviced by the Manager’s branch sales office, the Manager shall not, personally or through the efforts of others, induce or attempt to induce: 
(a) any agent, branch sales manager, field vice president, employee, consultant, or other similar representative of the Company to curtail, resign, or sever a relationship with the company; [or]
(b) any agent, branch sales manager, field vice president or employee of the Company to contract with or sell insurance business with any company not affiliated with the company. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

NBC reignites privacy debate by requiring social-media passwords of job applicants

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  (George Santayana)
It’s been eight long years since Bozeman, Montana, set the internet on fire by requiring that job applicants for municipal positions turn over passwords to their personal social media accounts as part of the application process. In the wake of that story, states rushed to introduce legislation prohibiting this practice; many succeeded. And, the story more or less died.

Thank you, NBC, for reigniting it.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

10 key elements of any data security policy to safeguard your company

Yesterday, I told you that small businesses (less than 250 employees) suffered 31 percent of last year’s cyberattacks. What can you do to best protect your business (of any size) to repel an attack? Let me introduce you to the Data Security Policy, an essential component of any employee handbook now, and likely forever.

What should an effective Data Security Policy contain? Consider 1) consulting with a knowledgeable cybersecurity attorney; and 2) including these 10 components (c/o me, Travelers, and the U.S. Small Business Association):