Social media is very prevalent in almost every aspect of life, and the professional sector is not able to hide from all social media platforms. While employees posting to social media may not seem like a big deal, it can mean serious problems for companies.
The line between professional and personal social media accounts is becoming increasingly more difficult to discern. Social media sites allow continuous access to a company for both clients and former employees. Adding social media policies into employment contracts can help to provide employers with a distinct line of recourse against all current employees. However, in many instances, employers do not have any contractual right of recourse that they can take against any former employees if they publish any defamatory comments on their social media pages.
Luckily, any statement that is published by former employees that are defamatory or false and cause, or could lead to significant harm to a company’s reputation, there are criminal and civil remedies that are available.
If statements are not considered “abusive,” but are still false, civil remedies are available in defamation under the Defamation Act 2013, which includes injunctive relief to help protect employers and will force publishers to remove the remarks from any social media site. In order to take advantage of The Act, the employers have to make sure that the statement does in fact refer to the company, and that the statement is truly defamatory.
Before bringing a claim against the former employee for any statements that are made, employers should consider various conditions, such as if the publisher has a defense, if the statement was published by a third party, or the claim was made within one year of the publication of the statement.
For more tips on how to navigate your business and social media, contact HR Solutions in Lakewood, Colorado.