Recently in Social Media and the Workplace Category
On Employment Legislation:
Just when you thought you had the employment law landscape figured out, along comes pending legislation that could change everything. From age discrimination claims to workplace flexibility to unionization and labor organizing, new bills in the House and Senate may change the way you run your business. Here I am discussing all that jazz with Stephanie Thomas at the Proactive Employer.
On Social Media:
Last week, Jennifer King got my take on employers using social networks to check up on potential job candidates. Jennifer is an HR Analyst who writes about human resources systems for Software Advice, a company that compares and reviews HR software. She writes about trends, best practices, and technology in the HR market. Read the full article, "The Internet Persona: What Recruiters Want to Know About You", on her HR blog.
Last, but not least, it's Brooks Meyer starring in "That 70s Slide Show", featuring Ivy Meyer on the mat and yours truly in his directorial debut. Now, I'm only one SAG card and a few dozen credits behind my cousin.
Come on! The sky isn't falling. Demanding social media access from employees and potential hires and is most definitely the exception and not the rule. And I'll set the record straight on this bad business practice after the jump...
A state court judge in Pennsylvania has come up with a new way to afford litigants access to social media as part of discovery in a pending civil action. Daniel Cummins at Tort Talk has the details:
The Judge's page long Order does not provide the background on the case leading up to this Motion and Order, or why such discovery was pursued by the Plaintiff.
While the Court did grant the Plaintiff access to the Defendant's Facebook page and ordered the Defendant not to delete any info from the Facebook profile, the Defendant was granted permission to change his login name and password after seven (7) days following his compliance with the Court's Order.
Anyone desiring a copy of this Order may click here.
Not only did the judge create a new way for party-access to social media accounts, but did you notice that a plaintiff received access to the defendant's social-media account. Not that this is entirely that surprising. Indeed, any information (paper, electronic, even social media) that is likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence in a civil action may be fair game during discovery for either side.
In the employment context, corporate-litigants should be mindful that if you press hard for a former employee's social media goodies during employment-related litigation, the plaintiff may just fire back with a few social-media requests.
I'll tell you why, after the jump...
Dale Gibson of The Triangle Business Journal reports here that a waiter at The Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC posted on the internet a copy of Peyton Manning's credit card receipt from a recent dinner there. Manning may not have a job, but he tips like a boss! Not like Mr. Pink. (Go to YouTube and search for "Reservoir Dogs - Tipping Scene" -- you'll find a number of hysterical, albeit completely NSFW videos about tipping etiquette).
Back to Peyton, according to the TBJ article, once the owner of The Angus Barn learned about the check, she quickly fired the waiter. "This goes against every policy we have," said the owner. "It's just horrible."
Well, I don't know about every policy, but certainly the social media policy. Not a bad idea to include in that policy a guideline for employees to refrain from sharing information about customers that the customers themselves would not share with the world -- like patient x-rays, for example.
(h/t Jon Hyman)
On Monday I had the privilege of presenting "Social Media for HR: Practical Guidance from a Generation Y Attorney" to a packed house at the SHRM 2012 Employment Law and Legislative Conference in Washingon, DC. I killed (naturally) and the audience of attorneys and HR professionals was fantastic. During the course of this interactive session, some of what the audience had to say really surprised me. And it may surprise you too. Click through to find out what real HR pros are doing to address social media in he workplace...
About a year, I wondered whether employers should ever require job applicants to divulge Facebook passwords. Ultimately, I concluded then -- and still believe now -- that while employers may choose to use social media as part of a background-check process, you're playing with fire if you start asking job applicants to divulge social-media passwords to make it easier to vet them.
Two states are now taking steps to make it illegal to force job candidates to reveal online user-names and passwords. One of those states is taking it one step further...
What two states and what they doing?!? (And what's with that creepy image on the right). Aaaaah!!!! Click through to find out...
- Plaintiff sues, claiming ongoing suffering from osteonecrosis of the jaw (if you click the link, don't look at the picture on the right. Ewwwww)
- Defendant corporation realizes that plaintiff has a Facebook account and serves a request for production of Facebook documents.
- Plaintiff produces only those documents that are available publicly (i.e., those to which access is not otherwise restricted through Facebook privacy controls)
- Not satisfied with the production, defendant moves to compel plaintiff to turn over her Facebook login information
The basis for the motion?
Defendant argues that Plaintiff's log-in information is discoverable because statements or pictures on her Facebook page relate directly to her claim of ongoing suffering from osteonecrosis of the jaw. Defendant's claim is predicated on Ms. Davids' profile picture, in which Defendant claims she is smiling. Defendant did not inquire about Ms. Davids' social networking activity at her deposition. (my emphasis)
Defendant's argument that Plaintiff smiling in her profile picture on Facebook satisfies its burden in this motion to compel is without merit. Even if Plaintiff is smiling in her profile picture, which is not clear to the court, one picture of Plaintiff smiling does not contradict her claim of suffering, nor is it sufficient evidence to warrant a further search into Plaintiff's account.
If only the Defendant had laid a better foundation with additional discovery as to the overall scope of what the plaintiff had in her Facebook account, this could have ended differently.
Yesterday, I had the absolute privilege of moderating a panel on social media in the workplace at TLNT Transform in Austin, TX. Transform is for talent managers and HR leaders who are looking for cutting-edge insights and best practices from innovative and forward-thinking companies.
Three HR Rockstars, Karren Fink, Laurie Ruettimann, and Rebecca Meissner, made my job as moderator on the social-media panel a breeze. If you can get past my initial crappy lawyer joke -- and that, apparently, I don't know my right from my left -- it's worth watching. Here is a link to the video.
What were you doing yesterday between 3 and 4 PM EST?
Me? I was tweeting with the great people at SHRM's We Know Next and several other Twitter stars, answering questions and otherwise making
insightful snarky comments that sniffed insightful but were generally closer to snarky, on the topic of "Social Media and HR - Policies and Legal Pitfalls."
If you were part of the dialogue, thank you for participating. (And muchas gracias to SHRM for inviting me to be a part of #NextChat). If you couldn't make it, click through to see what you missed and to get a crash course in Social Media 101 for HR...
A little birdie told me that Jason Mraz wrote this song about me and you.
Uh, oh. Meyer's off his meds again. No folks, allow me to explain.
Next Wednesday, I will be tweeting (on Twitter) for SHRM's We Know Next, and answering questions you have about "Social Media and HR - Policies and Legal Pitfalls". Just get on Twitter at 3 PM EST on 2/22/12. Tweet your questions and comments to me with the hashtag #NextChat. And I'll answer them like a boss; (link may be NSFW -- depends on your tolerance for SNL digital shorts, and if you have a sense of humor).
What should we discuss? Well, Jon Hyman at the Ohio Employer Law Blog posted some statistics yesterday about the number of employees who friend their bosses on Facebook. Good idea for employees? Ask me on Wednesday.
What else? How about...
- Should you monitor employee use of social media? (Is that even legal?)
- What should you be doing to screen potential hires using social media?
- What is that #1 "must have" for a social-media policy?
- What issues are companies having with implementing a social-media policy?
- How broad can a social-media policy be without being too broad (i.e., unlawful)?
- Do businesses even need a social-media policy? Or is this just snake oil that lawyers sell to scare employers?
Can we be Pinterest pals?
- Boxers or briefs? (Oops. Forgot the
- Social-media training for employees; good idea?
- What privacy rights do your employees have?
Whatever is on your mind, just tweet it with the #NextChat hashtag next Wednesday at 3PM.
Like you could do better...
If When "Facebookutioner" catches on, you read it here first.
But seriously folks, let's talk about what judges are doing about jury use of social media during trial...
According to this survey, in which 508 federal judges completed questionnaires, only 30 respondents (5.9%) are aware of instances in which jurors have used social media during trial or deliberation.
- What is the social network of choice among jurors?
- What are jurors doing online during trial?
- And what are judges doing to stop it?
Find out after the jump...
At least that's what this survey from Millenial Branding says. (It's also on this infographic if you're lazy). According to the survey, which consisted of 4 million Gen-Y (ages 18-29) Facebook profiles from Identified.com's database of 50 million, nearly two-thirds of Gen-Y fail to list their employer on their profiles. However, they average 16 co-worker friends.
More on this, along with some tips for employers, after the jump...