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Social Media

Rankings & Honors

  • Recognized nationally as a Tier One firm—the highest possible ranking—in “Employment Law—Management” and “Litigation—Labor & Employment” by U.S. News/Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms.” Our employment group is also recognized in every metropolitan area we practice
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media has changed the way businesses operate today—opening doors to new and exciting opportunities while also presenting unforeseen risks. We help close the divide between technology and the law, providing insights for managing your business in a social world.

Our approach

Most businesses today have an online presence and are active on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook. New applications come into the mix each day. This new technology, coupled with outdated laws, exposes businesses to legal issues involving trade secrets, data privacy, employees, export controls and intellectual property, to name a few.

As businesses expand their use of technology and social strategies, questions abound:

  • Is your intellectual property protected?
  • What will you do if your data is compromised?
  • What are your legal obligations for notification of a disclosure of personal information over social media?
  • Do you have policies in place that set guidelines for employee use of social media?
  • Who owns and has access to your social media account information?
  • How do you safely exchange information in virtual settings and across borders?

We’re charting the course in this evolving space, clearing a path to keep legal issues from standing in the way of using social media to increase visibility and grow your business.

Labor and Employment—We draft social media policies, counsel employers on how best to handle problems relating to employee use of social media and train employees—including management and human resources—on their employer’s social media policies and practices. We stay apprised of NLRB opinions in this rapidly changing area and keep our clients’ policies current.

Intellectual Property—We protect intellectual property—including domain names, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets—from unauthorized use and help clients to develop strategies for best protecting their brands on the Internet.

Data Privacy and Security—We help companies safeguard their information against data breach, mitigate in the event of a data breach, provide advice on incorporating privacy and risk-management policies for social media and in mobile and web media applications, equip employers with “BYOD” policies and advise on issues like what to do if proprietary or confidential information on an employee’s (or potential employee’s) social media profile is discovered.

Export Controls—We work with clients on the issue of creating, sharing or exchanging information and ideas in virtual communities and networks across national borders and departments, where the information being exchanged is subject to U.S. export control laws and substantial penalties for violations.

E-Discovery—We provide discovery and litigation technology services to resolve disputes regarding ownership of digital information—like social media accounts—and who has ownership rights. We also have experience mining social media accounts for crucial digital evidence.  

SEC Compliance—We provide guidance regarding the use of social media communications in conjunction with business transactions.

Digital Assets—We provide guidance on the Model Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act and state laws governing access to social media accounts upon death.

Who we work with

  • Public and private companies, and for profit and nonprofit organizations, across all industries
  • Service providers who utilize technology and the internet for internal or external investigations
  • Companies developing and selling social media products and services
  • PR and crisis planning agencies who respond to social media disasters

Recent experience

  • Crafting social media policies for employers that address:
    • the use of social media in the hiring and termination process,
    • employee use of social media as it relates to and impacts the employer and its brand and
    • employee management of and engagement with the company’s external social media presence (e.g., a company’s own Facebook and Twitter pages).
  • Guiding clients through the decision-making process for disciplining employees who misuse social media in a way that impacts the company’s brand.
  • Advising clients on how to properly protect their IP from unauthorized uses on social media, in addition to advising on proper use of brands in accord with relevant laws.
  • Advising technology companies on compliance for certain features in new products, apps, social communication platforms or services.
  • Helping clients resolve domain name disputes through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
  • Counselling clients on complying with existing and emerging statutory, regulatory and case law guidance on social media, including the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulations, SEC guidance, FDA regulations, the growing body of guidance on the access to and use of social media from the National Labor Relations Board, the Access to Digital Assets Act, and federal and state privacy rights laws.
  • Representing clients regarding unauthorized use of trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets—such as infringing content or usernames—on social media.
  • Drafting discovery requests in litigation specifically regarding access to information from individuals’ social media accounts.
  • Representing media entities that use blogs, webpages, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, on issues surrounding republication and editing of content.
  • Representing clients with regards to advertising claims and digital endorsers via social media and blogs.
  • Defending a client in employment litigation case involving issues relating to the ownership of social media accounts and related issues such as forensic recovery of passwords.
  • Defended a franchisee in four separate actions concerning allegations of sexual harassment involving social media discovery.
  • Assisted a quickly growing social media start-up company in connection with privacy and alcohol-beverage risk-management issues.
  • Developed numerous website and mobile app Privacy Policies and Terms and Conditions of Use that are compliant with state and federal laws.
  • Multiple data breaches through social media accounts and websites.

Media Clips

  • What You Know Can Hurt You
    Long Island Business News | June 13, 2014
    Long Island Labor & Employment partner Chris Gegwich provides commentary on discrimination charges employers could face monitoring and/or researching employees through social media.
  • Watch Those Tweets: The EEOC Looks at Social Media
    Wall Street Journal At Work Blog | March 18, 2014
    This article quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Renée Jackson, who was among the featured panelists in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hearing in Washington, DC, focused on the use of social media in the workplace.
  • No Firing After Facebook Post, NLRB Tells Tour Bus Company
    Reuters | May 8, 2013

    San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Renée Jackson discusses the National Labor Relations Board’s focus on social media as illustrated by a recent ruling that a tour bus guide was unlawfully fired from his job after complaining about working conditions in a Facebook post.

  • . . . View all . . .
  • Social Media and Employment
    C-SPAN | May 6, 2013

    San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Renée Jackson is among the featured panelists who spoke about the privacy, social, and policy implications that arise when employers use social media to gather personal data of potential employees during the hiring process.

  • Company Social Media Accounts—Who Owns Those Twitter Followers?
    Forbes | February 18, 2013

    San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Renée Jackson discusses employee versus employer “ownership” of company social media accounts in this Q&A.

  • Social Media, Passwords and the Hiring Process: Privacy and Other Legal Rights
    Forbes | May 28, 2012

    This featured Q&A focused on social media in the hiring process is conducted with San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Renée Jackson. Click here to read the article on www.forbes.com.

Ideas

Do courts like the service of legal process via social media?
Social Media Law Alert | October 22, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 17, 2014

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Webinar Recording: Tech Talk 101: are you fluent in the language of data security?
Originally recorded October 8, 2014 | October 14, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 10, 2014

The Second Circuit speaks: accessing a social media web page is not enough to authenticate it
Electronic Discovery and Evidence Alert | October 7, 2014

Instant messages as evidence: questions of authenticity and admissibility addressed in Massachusetts Appeals Court ruling
Electronic Discovery and Evidence Alert | October 3, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 3, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 26, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 19, 2014

Trying to unmask and sue the anonymous social media speaker
Social Media Law Alert | September 17, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 12, 2014

Whose "likes" are they?
Social Media Law Alert | September 3, 2014

The NLRB sends a clear message to employers — think twice before striking back at employee social media comments
Social Media Law Alert | September 2, 2014

Labor Day reflections on labor law and the labor movement
Employment Law Alert | August 29, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | July 3, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | June 13, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | April 25, 2014

Self-destructing text messages for business professionals? There's an app for that.
Employment Alert | February 4, 2014

Our Top Five Riskiest Data Security Activities
October 8, 2013

Webinar Recording: Your Company's Online Reputation—Rights & Risks of Employees Using Social Media
Originally recorded June 3, 2013 | June 12, 2013

Webinar Recording: Legally Social—Following social media trends impacting the workplace
Originally recorded March 21, 2013 | March 28, 2013

NLRB finds online discussion between non-union employees "protected activity"
Employment Law Alert | January 3, 2013

California employment legislation: What's new for 2013?
Employment Law Alert | October 5, 2012

California becomes third state to enact social media password law, joining Maryland and Illinois
Employment Law Alert | October 2, 2012

NLRB issues first decision regarding "online discussions" and ALJ issues decision regarding social media policies
Employment Law Alert | October 2, 2012

National Labor Relations Board takes aim at social media policies and at-will disclaimers
Employment Law Alert | July 26, 2012

NLRB again finds protected concerted activity in Facebook posts, orders fired employees reinstated
Employment Law Alert | May 11, 2012

Maryland enacts nation's first social media password law; more states and the federal government are following suit
Employment Law Alert | May 2, 2012

NLRB and workers' groups continue attack on employer social media policies
Employment Law Alert | April 16, 2012

Employers asking applicants for Facebook login information: an unwise employment practice takes the spotlight
Employment Law Alert | March 28, 2012

Employer's social media profile and "friends" list can be trade secrets under Colorado law
Employment Law Alert | March 21, 2012

Social media and employment law: looking back to 2011 and looking forward to 2012
Employment Law Alert | January 19, 2012

. . . Hide Thought Leadership. . .

Press

Events

Employee Privacy & Social Media