LinkedIn Contacts: To Whom Do They Belong?

LinkedIn Contacts: To Whom Do They Belong?

Do you voluntarily use LinkedIn to help your employer promote business, services and/or products? Does your company request, or require employees to use LinkedIn to further develop client/customer/vendor relationships?

What happens if/when the employment relationship ends on a sour note? Will there be a battle between employer and employee regarding the ownership of the LinkedIn contacts, and perhaps the account(s) used?

In my November 2014 post titled “Employer vs. Employee: Ownership of LinkedIn Contacts” I explored these questions and others that employers and employees may face when the employment relationship ends and ownership of LinkedIn information becomes disputed. While courts have yet to publish many decisions on this issue, I focused on a federal court case (Eagle v. Morgan) that provides some guidance to employers.

I also added four tips for employers to prevent such disputes from arising and to help employers maintain control and ownership of LinkedIn information former employees have used/developed on their employer’s behalf.

A Single Facebook Post Results In $80,000.00 Loss

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?

Social Media’s Impact On Non Solicitation Agreements – Tips for Employers and Employees

Social Media’s Impact On Non Solicitation Agreements – Tips for Employers and Employees

Don’t allow your ex-employees to walk off with your clients. Always have a non solicitation agreement in place.

Now days, people change jobs frequently. And, when they start and end a job with one company, they are typically subject to all sorts of contractual obligations, including non-disparagement, and non-solicitation of customers and other employees.

What can/should a person post on his/her LinkedIn page, Facebook status, and Twitter feed about leaving one company to join another? What would be considered “solicitation,” and thus, a violation of a contractual provision? How can employers protect against a departing employee from soliciting other employees (and customers) from departing as well. In my May 2013 post regarding Social Media in the Workplace for Windmill Networking (Now, I provide 6 tips for employers and employees in dealing with social media and non-solicitation agreements. The article is creatively titled: “Social Media In the Workplace: 6 Tips Regarding Non Solicitation Agreements“.