In their quest to harness the marketing power of social media, some companies encourage employees to set up LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook accounts for the purposes of developing customer or client relationships and communicating targeted messages.
But several recent federal district court decisions discuss the consequences when departing employees leave with their business social media accounts and contacts. Because employees typically use such accounts for personal as well as business purposes, the potential for a dispute over who owns what is high. The cases emphasize the importance of defining social media account ownership in company policies and employee agreements.
A case in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Eagle v. Morgan, involved similar issues, even though the company had a social media policy.