A company may create a social media policy in order to regulate how its employees and company representatives use social media websites. Most individual workers have at least one social media account for personal use. The company itself may also maintain several social media accounts which are used for the promotion of the business.
A company’s social media policy usually has two basic aims:
Social media policies may also regulate personal social media usage during work hours. Laws governing social media usage are still very new and are subject to changes as the industry evolves. The policy can often take the form of a nondisclosure agreement stating what the parties can and cannot do with regards to social media.
Social media policies can lead to very specific types of legal disputes. An employee can be held liable for violating an agreement not to make certain disclosures on their personal social media account(s). Alternatively, the employer can be held liable for restricting the employee’s rights with regards to their personal social media account(s) too much.
Some examples of social media policy disputes are:
Most social media policy legal disputes consist of a breach of contract or breach of a confidentiality agreement. Keep in mind that disputes and violations may vary as the different types of social media continue to evolve.
A policy dispute may result in a damages award to compensate the non-violating party for losses. For instance, if an employee posts a trade secret on their social media account, they may be required to compensate their employer for any losses caused by the disclosure. Another remedy is a re-working of the policy terms, especially if the policy restricts the employee’s rights too strictly.
Social media policies are a relatively new innovation, but they share many similarities with other types of employment and business agreements. You may need to hire an employment law attorney if you need any assistance with a social media policy. Your lawyer can help review any policy terms to ensure that your rights are fully protected. Also if you have any disputes or conflicts, your lawyer can represent you in court and can help negotiate a remedy as needed.
Last Modified: 07-14-2015 11:30 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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