In connection with its coverage of national signing day, recently highlighted that social media is increasingly being utilized by coaches to contact, recruit and gather information about players. For players, it’s a way to get recruited, control the message and interact with fans and other recruits at unprecedented levels.  And, like in the workplace, misuse of the media can have unfortunate consequences. A New Jersey high school prospect recently found this out when he was expelled from Don Bosco Preparatory after questionable posts were viewed on his Twitter account.  We have noticed similar trends and similar missteps in the employment context, where social media is often being utilized by companies and employees without first being well thought out. 

While the NCAA does provide some social media regulations, online interaction is far less regulated than more “old fashioned” forms of communication. According to Gregg Clifton, Co-chair of the Jackson Lewis’ Collegiate and Professional Sports Industry Group, “The days of face-to-face interaction between coach and recruit have been forever transformed. While the NCAA limits direct phone contact and texting by coaches to recruits, current NCAA regulatory freedom still permits coaches to use social media to contact, recruit, and gather information about players they are considering for their programs.” Similarly, both state and federal employment law struggle to keep up with the ever expanding social media realm.  This was most recently highlighted by the NLRB General Counsel’s report on social media. Consequently, even for employers that do have social media policies, they often do not address key issues such as the company’s presence on-line, regulatory requirements that apply in their industry, and how managers and supervisors should and should not be using the medium. In fact, as shown by many of the NLRB’s rulings discussed in the recent report, many policies contain overbroad proscriptions that violate a variety of laws.  

To keep up with social media, some schools are hiring individuals to monitor the social media of prospective student-athletes and to make sure that improper interaction is not occurring, as well as to ensure confidential information, such as under FERPA, is not being disclosed.  Employers too are seeking to hire individuals to not only assist in utilizing social media for marketing, but also individuals who can monitor how social media is and should be utilized in employment decisions.  This is particularly true for statutes and regulations which one may not necessary link with social media.  For example, employers often don’t realize that they may improperly acquire genetic information in violation of the GINA by “friending” or “following” employees or applicants. 

Of course, schools also are employers…so, while universities and colleges need to institute effective policies and procedures to address their use of social media in recruiting, they also must address social media usage in the employment context.  

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Jason C. Gavejian Jason C. Gavejian

Jason C. Gavejian is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and co-leader of the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group. Jason is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) with the International Association of Privacy…

Jason C. Gavejian is a principal in the Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and co-leader of the firm’s Privacy, Data and Cybersecurity practice group. Jason is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) with the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

As a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US), Jason focuses on the matrix of laws governing privacy, security, and management of data. Jason is co-editor of, and a regular contributor to, the firm’s Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report blog.

Jason’s work in the area of privacy and data security includes counseling international, national, and regional companies on the vast array of privacy and security mandates, preventive measures, policies, procedures, and best practices. This includes, but is not limited to, the privacy and security requirements under state, federal, and international law (e.g., HIPAA/HITECH, GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), FTC Act, ECPA, SCA, GLBA etc.). Jason helps companies in all industries to assess information risk and security as part of the development and implementation of comprehensive data security safeguards including written information security programs (WISP). Additionally, Jason assists companies in analyzing issues related to: electronic communications, social media, electronic signatures (ESIGN/UETA), monitoring and recording (GPS, video, audio, etc.), biometrics, and bring your own device (BYOD) and company owned personally enabled device (COPE) programs, including policies and procedures to address same. He regularly advises clients on compliance issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and has represented clients in suits, including class actions, brought in various jurisdictions throughout the country under the TCPA.

Jason represents companies with respect to inquiries from the HHS/OCR, state attorneys general, and other agencies alleging wrongful disclosure of personal/protected information. He negotiates vendor agreements and other data privacy and security agreements, including business associate agreements. His work in the area of privacy and data security includes counseling and coaching clients through the process of investigating and responding to breaches of the personally identifiable information (PII) or protected health information (PHI) they maintain about consumers, customers, employees, patients, and others, while also assisting clients in implementing policies, practices, and procedures to prevent future data incidents.

Jason represents management exclusively in all aspects of employment litigation, including restrictive covenants, class-actions, harassment, retaliation, discrimination, and wage and hour claims in both federal and state courts. He regularly appears before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, and the New Jersey Department of Labor. Jason’s practice also focuses on advising/counseling employers regarding daily workplace issues.

Jason’s litigation experience, coupled with his privacy practice, provides him with a unique view of many workplace issues and the impact privacy, data security, and social media may play in actual or threatened lawsuits.

Jason regularly provides training to both executives and employees and regularly speaks on current privacy, data security, monitoring, recording, BYOD/COPE, biometrics (BIPA), social media, TCPA, and information management issues. His views on these topics have been discussed in multiple publications, including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle (SFGATE), National Law Review, Bloomberg BNA,, @Law Magazine, Risk and Insurance Magazine, LXBN TV, Business Insurance Magazine, and

Jason is the co-leader of Jackson Lewis’ Hispanic Attorney resource group, a group committed to increasing the firm’s visibility among Hispanic-American and other minority attorneys, as well as mentoring the firm’s attorneys to assist in their training and development. He also previously served on the National Leadership Committee of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and regularly volunteers his time for pro bono matters.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Jason served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Richard J. Donohue on the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County.