Payday loans

June 28, 2011

Are your LinkedIn connections really yours?

Filed under: Employment Law,General HR Buzz3:31 pm

The explosion of email, the Internet, and now social media has probably contributed to at least a few disciplinary actions in your workplace. The fact is that the law has not caught up to the constantly changing technological landscape. These days, it is almost impossible to miss news items in which an employee was terminated from his or her employment because of a social media faux pas. If your company is entering social media territory through sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, or others, you could be in for a big mess when separating from an employee.

Termed “social media portability,” the issue of whether the company owns your personal contacts is hardly black and white. Many companies already utilize confidentiality pacts and non-compete agreements to establish intellectual property. These legal tools encompass contacts and information that is considered proprietary to the company. Social media is for the most part public: videos posted on YouTube, contacts displayed on your LinkedIn profile, etc. Thus far, there have not been any precedent-setting decisions that establish whether or not simply “friending” a client or fellow employee on Facebook or adding a contact on LinkedIn constitutes a solicitation for business.

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