This past week mainstream press (not just employment law blogs) has been reporting on a single Facebook post by a Boston College student. Why? One of her posts resulted in a loss of $80,000.00 to her father. As it turns out, her post demonstrated that her father had violated a confidentiality provision in a Settlement Agreement he had entered into with his former employer after he brought claims of employment discrimination and retaliation.
This same week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy challenging the company’s standard severance agreement. The EEOC was particularly concerned with provisions it thinks trample on employee rights to discuss workplace issues, including the confidentiality provision.
In my most recent article titled “Can ‘Social Media’ and ‘Confidentiality’ Co-Exist In The Workplace” for Maximize Social Business, I analyze whether “social media” and “confidentiality” can really co-exist in a workplace, and how one Court ruled in favor of the confidentiality provision, while the EEOC challenges another. After you read the post, let me know what you think – did the Court get it right when it ruled against the Facebook poster and her family? Are the EEOC’s concerns valid, and if so, will employers be even more reluctant than ever to enter into severance/settlement agreements that will not contain confidentiality provisions?