Archives: Social Networking

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States Continue to Protect the Personal Social Media Accounts of Employees, with Oregon Likely to Add an Interesting Twist

Over the past few years, states around the country have enacted laws limiting an employer’s ability to access the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees. Earlier this year, Montana’s Governor Steve Bullock signed HB 342 into law. Before that, Virginia enacted a similar measure. On May 19, Connecticut’s Governor added the Nutmeg state to … Continue Reading

Montana to Join Growing List of States Limiting Access to Social Media?

Earlier this month, legislators in Montana gave final approval to H.B. 342 which would limit an employer’s ability to access the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees.  The bill now goes to Governor Steve Bullock’s (D) office for consideration. If signed, Montana would join become the most recent state to join the list … Continue Reading

Virginia Joins List of States Limiting Employer Access to Social Media Accounts

Recently, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) signed a bill that limits employer access to the personal social media accounts of employees and job applicants.  The law, which takes effect on July 1, 2015 prohibits employers in Virginia from requiring, requesting, or causing a current or prospective employee to disclose the username and password to the individual’s social … Continue Reading

Ethics Case Alleging Improper Social Media Access May Proceed

As we previously reported, sending a “friend” request to access information on an individual’s Facebook page that is not publicly available may have serious ethical implications.  Specifically, the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) alleges John Robertelli and Gabriel Adamo violated the Rules of Professional Conduct, including those governing communications with represented parties, when they caused a paralegal to … Continue Reading

“Employees Must Be Permitted To Use Company Email for Statutorily Protected Communications” -NLRB

We reported earlier that the National Labor Relations Board had been considering changing its previous position that  “employees have no statutory right to use the[ir] Employer’s e-mail system for Section 7 purposes.”  The NLRB’s position in this regard was established in 2007, under the NLRB’s ruling in Register Guard.  Today, in Purple Communications Inc. and … Continue Reading

Does the Secret Service Need a BYOD Policy? Addressing Personal Device Usage in the Workplace

According to a November 13, 2014 article in the New York Times (based on a review by the Department of Homeland Security), an intruder was able to enter the White House back in September due to a succession of performance, organizational, and technical failures.  One of the specific findings was that: “Omar Gonzalez, the man … Continue Reading

California Minors Gain Privacy Rights in the Online World

Thanks to a new state law enacted to protect minors from the modern follies of youth, minors in California can ring in the New Year by permanently deleting their regrettable online posts. This so-called “Online Eraser Law” – signed by Governor Jerry Brown on September 23, 2013 – will take effect on January 1, 2015. … Continue Reading

Tough Future for Shirking?

The October 25, 2014 issue of the Economist, a U.K. business news periodical, contains a tongue-in- cheek guide to “skiving,” which apparently is the British word for shirking on the job. The piece highlights the challenge and opportunity created by new technology for employees who want to pretend to work, rather than work. It notes: … Continue Reading

Companies Need to be Better Prepared to Respond to Problematic Social Media Activity, Including Facebook “Likes”

The National Labor Relations Board has found that another employer (a non-union employer) violated its employees’ protected concerted activity rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it disciplined and fired them for certain social media activity. Our Labor Group provides an extensive analysis of this decision in Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31 … Continue Reading

*UPDATE* Suit Against School District Regarding Tweet Settles

As previously reported, in a March 2014 filing titled H.W. v. Sterling High School District, a New Jersey high school student filed suit claiming school officials had violated her constitutional rights when they punished her for content she posted on Twitter which criticized Sterling High School’s principal. The settlement, which was approved by the Sterling … Continue Reading

FTC Amends Guidance to Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rules, Clarifying “Verifiable Parental Consent” Requirements

In response to reported on-going confusion regarding how to satisfy the “verifiable parental consent” requirements in Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) 15 U.S.C. §6501 et. seq. (1998), and its implementing regulations, 12 CFR Part 312 (2000), the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) revised its guidance on enforcement of the same. According to the FTC, “The … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Decision in Riley Affects Cellphone Searches in Civil Litigation, Employment Matters

When the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision Riley v. California, a Fourth Amendment criminal case, we suspected it would not be long before the rationale in that case concerning the privacy interests individuals have in cellphones would be more broadly applied. In late June, a federal district court in Connecticut denied a request  by two … Continue Reading

Twitter Bio At Issue In NFL Arbitration

As reported by ESPN, Jimmy Graham‘s Twitter bio could play a crucial role in the National Football League (“NFL”) arbitration hearing between the New Orleans Saints and Graham. For those unfamiliar with the story, the New Orleans Saints placed a tight-end franchise tag on Graham.  Under the tag, Graham must be offered a one-year contract for an amount no … Continue Reading

Oklahoma Joins Growing Number of States Limiting Employer Access To Personal Social Media Accounts

Add Oklahoma to the list of states prohibiting employers from requesting or demanding access to the personal social media accounts of employees or applicants. Signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin, H.B. 2372 becomes effective November 1, 2014. In addition to being prohibited from requesting or demanding usernames or passwords from employees or applicants to their … Continue Reading

Florida Social Media Bill Dies In Committee

As we previously reported, the Florida legislature was considering joining numerous other states which have banned employers from requesting or requiring access to current or prospective employees’ social media accounts. Senate Bill SB198, which was entitled “An Act Relating to Social Media Privacy,” has died in committee.  As such, Florida will not be joining the … Continue Reading

Volunteer State (Tennessee) Prohibits Employers From Asking Employees, Applicants to Volunteer Access to Social Media, Internet Accounts

Effective January 1, 2015, Tennessee employers, including government entities, will be prohibited from requesting or requiring access to the private social networking or online accounts of employees and job applicants under the Volunteer State’s “Employee Online Privacy Act of 2014,” signed by Governor Bill Haslam. Our Tennessee colleagues outline the key provisions of the law, including some of … Continue Reading

Employers, the NLRB Wants Some Control Over Your Company Email

You’ve just finished your email, electronic communications, social media and/or BYOD policies for employees assuming, among other things, that you did not have to permit employees to use company-provided communication systems for nonwork-related purposes, such as to fulfill certain union-related purposes or other “protected concerted activities” under for Section 7 of the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading

EEOC Meeting: Social Media Discovery Chills The Exercising of Rights

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently held a meeting to gather information about the growing use of social media and how it impacts the laws the EEOC enforces. During the meeting, a panel representative from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) explained that employers use different types of social media for various … Continue Reading

Student Files Suit After Tweet Lands Her In Hot Water

A New Jersey student has filed a federal court lawsuit, H.W. v. Sterling High School District, alleging that she has been subject to disability discrimination and that her First Amendment rights have been violated. The student, known only as H.W. in court papers, was banned from the prom, senior trip, and the school’s commencement ceremony following … Continue Reading

Social Media Guidance Issued For Pharmaceutical Entities

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued draft guidance entitled “Guidance for Industry-Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media For Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics.” The draft guidance is intended to describe the FDA’s current thinking about how manufacturers, packers, and distributors (firms) … Continue Reading