Social Media in Labour and Employment: Privacy, Human Rights, and the Formation, Management and Termination of the Employment Relationship (Rev 4)

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From a legal perspective, social media is a relatively new phenomenon, but its implications for employers, employees, trade unions, and their advocates are proving to be marked in all aspects of employment and labour relationships—formation, management, termination and post-termination. Social media is a double-edged sword, having potential for both positive and negative influence on business generally, and employment and labour relationships specifically. Part II of this paper describes various types of social media that are most often involved in employment and labour issues and disputes. Part III of this paper explores the implications of social media pre-employment, Part IV explores the implications of social media during the employment relationship, and Part V explores the implications of social media post-employment. Part VI of this paper discusses social media implications peripheral to the employment and labour relationships. Part VII concludes this paper with the observation that social media is not going away, and it will continue to be a factor in employment and labour relationships, before, during and after those relationships. Social media has great potential for both positive and negative effects on business, human resources, and labour relations. To minimize the negative risks for employers, trade unions, and employees, clear social media policies should be in place, well-advertised, and consistently enforced.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© E. Wayne Benedict | Attorney Advertising

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