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

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):

Monday, May 1, 2017

Wait, an employer can’t fire an employee on FMLA leave caught on Facebook on vacation?

Actual firing Facebook photo
Suppose you have an employee who takes FMLA leave for rotator-cuff surgery. Let’s say during said FMLA leave, you discover that the employee is vacationing on a Caribbean island. And, further suppose that you discover this employee’s island vacay via his own public Facebook posts, which included photos of him on the beach, posing by a boat wreck, and in the ocean. Or, more accurately the employee’s co-workers saw the photos and ratted him out to management.

So, what do you do?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

2nd Circuit holds that it’s perfectly okay for an employee to curse out his boss on Facebook (NSFW)

It’s been two years since the NLRB determined that section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act protected an employee’s profanity laced Facebook rant simply because he ended it with a pro union message. I held out hope that the court of appeals would see the folly in the decision and send a clear message to employees and employers that such misconduct remains a terminable offense. NLRB v. Pier Sixty (2nd Cir. 4/21/17) [pdf] dashed that hope.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Communicating with employees is key when a PR crisis strikes

Lots has been said about how United Airlines mishandled violently dragging a passenger from an overbooked flight. And none of it is good. Yet, make no mistake, how United CEO Oscar Munoz communicated with his company’s employees immediately following the incident did not do anything to make it any better.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Social media may distract employees, but should we care?

I posted this from work yesterday
Earlier this week, I asked when employees will learn that online comments can, and will, be used against them. There is another half to the workplace-social-media equation—employers, who have the task of regulating their employees’ use of social media, which happens more and more in the workplace.

Yesterday, Cleveland reporter Olivia Perkins discussed a recent survey, which found that nearly 90 percent of employees access personal social media accounts at work, to varying degrees of distraction.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

When will employees learn that online comments can, and will, be used against them?

Business in the front, party in the rear
I’ve recently given two different speeches discussing the balance between an employee’s privacy and an employer’s right to know. One of the themes of this talk is that social media has irreparably blurred the line between one’s personal persona and one’s professional persona, and employees best be careful with that they say online, because employers are watching and holding them accountable.

Case in point? Buker v. Howard County (4th Cir. 3/20/17) [pdf].

Thursday, February 23, 2017

What’s good for the goose … NLRB protects employee’s Facebook post critical of his union

It won’t take much searching through the archives to find posts discussing the NLRB’s protections for employees’ Facebook posts critical of their employers (here, for example). Protected speech under the NLRA, however, cuts both ways. Section 7 not only protects anti-employer comments, but also anti-union comments. Thus, it would make sense that the NLRB would conclude, as it recently did in International Union of North America, Local Union No. 91 [pdf], that section 7 protects an employee who posts on Facebook comments critical of his labor union.