Everyone is on social media these days, including your employees. Not surprisingly, companies can be held vicariously liable for legal and regulatory issues arising from their employees’ social media use, such as defamatory or discriminatory social media messages to harassing Facebook comments or tweets. Companies are also exposed to employee leaks of sensitive company or customer information, or the improper use of the employer’s intellectual property and trade secrets. These risks exist regardless of whether the employee commits the offense at the office using company-owned computer resources or at home using their personal social media accounts, since they are often identified as an employee of the company in their social media profile.
In light of these significant risks, developing a social media policy makes business and legal sense. In our last article, 10 best practices for drafting a lawful social media policy, we provided practical advice on how a social media policy can assist your company in managing employee social media use in order to limit exposure to costly legal problems and serve as a communications guideline that empowers employees with the information they need in order to use social media in a responsible manner. But what good is a policy if it is not implemented and enforced in a responsible and defensible manner? (Not much, we surmise.)