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September 24, 2020

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Creating a Social Media Policy

It is essential for employers to develop a social networking policy, especially in light of the many legal issues that may arise. Employers must consider the many goals that the policy intends to cover, such as:

  • Protecting the company's trade secrets, confidential, proprietary and/or privileged information; 
  • Protecting the company's reputation;
  • Protecting the privacy of employees; and 
  • Establishing guidelines for whether use of social networking sites during working hours is permitted, and if so, under what circumstances.

Employers must also consider the parameters in developing a new policy, such as:

  • Urging employees to go to human resources with work-related issues and complaints before blogging about them; 
  • Setting forth the potential for discipline, up to and including termination, if an employee misuses social networking sites relating to employment; 
  • Establishing a reporting procedure for suspected violations of the policy; 
  • Enforcing the policy consistently and with regard to all employees; 
  • Reiterating that company policies, including harassment and discrimination policies, apply with equal force to employees' communications on social networking sites;
  • Reminding employees that the computers and email system are company property intended for business use only, and that the company may monitor computer and email usage; and 
  • Arranging for employees to sign a written acknowledgment that they have read, understand and will abide by the policy.

As seen is the October 14th issue of Business Lexington

© 2020 Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume I, Number 291

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About this Author

Brian Moore, labor and employment litigator, Dinsmore Shohl law firm,
Of Counsel

Brian represents companies in labor, employment, and general litigation matters. His business-oriented approach enables him to guide clients through a myriad of challenges. Brian draws on his experience to help clients reach efficient resolutions -- or pursue litigation and trial -- as the situation warrants. Working with clients in the banking, insurance, retail, health care, energy, hospitality, and food and beverage industries, he has guided them through an array of issues, including discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, deliberate intent, unfair labor practice,...

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