Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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What might be included in a fair social media clause?

In last week’s post, we discussed situations in which you, as a Las Vegas employer, might be able to take legal action against an employee for something he or she said on social media that put your company in a bad light. As you know, many people use some form of social media on a daily basis, either for their personal lives or for professional networking. In most cases, the posts made by your staff would have little bearing on your company’s reputation. However, it might take one unprofessional or inflammatory statement by someone working for you that could influence your customers to go elsewhere.

The potential for a social media post to go wrong is a major reason many companies include clauses limiting or regulating their employees’ public activity online. Obviously, you cannot tell your staff that they are not allowed to have Facebook or Twitter accounts. As we talked about last week, your employees may also, in some cases, be allowed to complain about their work situation online. How, then, might you word a contract in such a way that your employees’ posts do not reflect negatively on your company, but is also fair?

A sample social media clause provided by the Society for Human Resource Management gives a few good examples. You have every right to restrict your employees from browsing and posting on Facebook during work hours or from company computers. You may require that posts mentioning your company remain professional and do not violate copyright laws or divulge sensitive information. You could also state that the content your employees share online should not include offensive, derogatory or discriminatory statements, or blatantly insult your customers.

The information included in employment contracts may require professional assistance to be fair for all involved. Therefore, it is important that the content in this blog does not replace the advice of a lawyer.

John P. Aldrich
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