If you own a business – no matter the size of the company – chances are that an employee or competitor has made a comment about your business in cyberspace via Facebook or Twitter. While some comments can help promote business, other posts or tweets can hurt your business. This is why many companies are turning towards drafting social media policies.
As more and more businesses are using social media to help grow their business and are finding it beneficial, other businesses are suffering the consequences of negative comments. Additionally, many businesses and employees of various companies have gotten in trouble about what they post. Several of these legal social media issues that have landed some in court include:
- Privacy. Companies need to make sure their employees are not sharing too much information about the company on social media sites so that their intellectual property rights are not compromised. If too much information is made public, companies can lose their trade secrets or confidentially rights.
- Copyright or trademark infringement. Companies and their employees need to make sure they have the right to use photographs and videos that they have uploaded to social media sites, or else they may find themselves in court.
- Wrongful termination. Companies have fired employees for what they wrote on social media sites; however, the company has to prove to the judge that those actions were prohibited or else the judge may find the employee protected under federal law.
- Defamation. If your company is the subject of Internet defamation, you can issue a cease and desist letter or take that individual or company to court for defamation. In order for businesses to avoid a defamation lawsuit, businesses may want to have a policy in place that does not allow employees to write derogatory comments about competitors or their own company.
Social media employment-related concerns are on the rise. In order to protect your company, you need to make sure you have a social media policy in place. However, it is not just enough to have any social media policy in Texas. Careful attention needs to be given to your specific concerns and industry, without interfering with your employees’ legal rights.
In order to develop the right social media policy for your company, you need to develop a written social media policy with the help of a Texas business contract attorney who is skilled in business and employment law. This way you can minimize your social media risks and protect your company from business litigation involving social media.
For more information or for help drafting a social media business policy for your company, please call the Voss Law Firm at (866) 276-6179 to receive a free consultation and free copy of our book, Business Disputes – Critical Information for All Business Owners.