Who Owns Employees’ Social Media Accounts?

October 11th, 2012 by JBWK

In an interesting case in Pennsylvania, a federal court is testing how far an employer’s control over its employees’ social-media accounts can go within legal limits.

In the case, the employer made its employees set up LinkedIn accounts using their company email addresses and giving the employer their password. The LinkedIn pages all followed a company-created template.

When an employee was fired, she tried to access her page, but the employer had already changed the password. The employee sued, and the case is going to trial on various state-law claims.

The moral of the story: get an agreement in writing signed by the employee ahead of time governing work-related accounts.


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