How to Handle Digital Damage Control: Texas Lawyer

Lee Winkelman and Alan Bush are freelance contributors for Texas Lawyer. Their latest article, “How to Handle Digital Damage Control” appeared in the In-House Focus section on May 1, 2017.

Employees can get into a lot of trouble with a smartphone and a social media account or two. Here’s what Lee and Alan had to say about it:

How much (legal) trouble can one employee get into with a smartphone and a social media account or two? Hint, hint: It’s more than most in-house counsel want to admit. It’s enough to put a company in the HR hurt locker.

Let’s start at the beginning of an employee’s life cycle – vetting the candidate for an opening. Hiring managers love to peruse the candidate’s social media. For the manager, it feels like the only way he can get the real story on the candidate. Trouble is, the manager could learn something that kicks off a discrimination lawsuit. Maybe candidate Carl was once Carol. Or prospect Paula just found out she’s expecting and due in six months during the company’s busy season. Passing over either candidate could buy a trip to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

But don’t abandon ship on social media checks. They can help an employer weed out employees with real judgment problems. There are options…

In the article, Alan and Lee lay out how a solid social media policy can help an employer deal with:

  •                   Discriminatory hiring claims;
  •                   Indiscriminate use of social media by employees; and
  •                   Trade secret theft.


Read the full article for more.