This post was contributed by Jennifer E. Will, Esq., a Partner in McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.
As social media continues to affect your business, there are a few more steps that you should be taking to protect your assets. The Federal Trade Commission has revised and posted its "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (.pdf)."
What does this mean for employers? You could be held liable for false or unsubstantiated statements about your Company’s services or products that are made by your employees on blogs or social networking sites.
Duty to Disclose? Employees who endorse their employer’s products have a duty to disclose the employment relationship at the time of the endorsement or testimonial . . . even when it is posted on a site that is NOT maintained by the employer.
Time for a Check-Up? Your current Internet Postings and/or Electronic Resources Policy should be reviewed to ensure that it puts employees on notice of their duty to disclose the employment relationship. Also, your policies should already contain guidance to employees regarding privacy rights, monitoring and the improper use/disclosure of proprietary and confidential information.
Employers should take time now to review and update their policies.