Gavel to Gavel: Employers and ‘in-your-face’ Facebook By Charlie Plumb

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This article first published in The Journal Record - February 17, 2011.

What happens when you cross a work force that increasingly uses social media with a federal employment agency determined to increase investigations and legal actions against employers? A potentially rocky road for employers in the future.

Like a lot of employers, American Medical Response of Connecticut includes in its employee handbook a blogging and Internet posting policy. Among other things, the policy prohibits its employees from making “disparaging, discriminatory, or defamatory comments when discussing the company or the employees’ superiors, co-workers, and/or competitors.”

Medical tech Dawnmarie Souza became angry with her supervisor. While at home one evening and using her home computer, Souza posted on her personal Facebook page entries about her supervisor, comparing him to a psychiatric patient and using two expletives. Co-workers who read Souza’s Facebook page added posts supportive of Souza’s comments.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Charlie Plumb.

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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.

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