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 This new technology, coupled with outdated laws, exposes businesses to legal issues involving trade secrets, data privacy, employees, export controls and intellectual property, to name a few.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:
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.
Law360 | May 17, 2017
Labor and employment partners Stephanie Caffera and Chris Gegwich and associate Alex Gallin co-authored this column that explains why the National Labor Relations Act protected an employee who posted profanities about his supervisor on social media, but did not protect an employee who was fired for yelling profanities at his employer.
Law360 | May 09, 2017
Labor and employment partners Stephanie Caffera and Chris Gegwich and associate Alexander Gallin co-authored this column about certain employee protections under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), including a recent Second Circuit ruling upholding the decision that an employee’s vulgar Facebook post was protected activity under the NLRA.
SHRM | March 28, 2017
Providence commercial litigation counsel Steve Richard contributed this article about a company’s efforts to remove a former employee’s anonymous online post which the company believed revealed company trade secrets.
ABA Journal | April 01, 2016
Washington, DC, partner Michael Cooney is featured in this piece that looks at legal headaches for colleges caused by anonymous social media apps.
Bloomberg BNA Social Media Law & Policy Report | January 20, 2016
Providence Commercial Litigation counsel Steven Richard is quoted in this article about how the right of publicity affects social media use.
Chicago Tribune | January 11, 2016
Chicago Labor & Employment partner Brian Alcala provides third-party commentary in this article about employers’ use of social media to evaluate job candidates.
Practical Law | December 01, 2015
Labor & Employment partner Jeff Gilbreth and associate Joe Carello discuss a number of issues facing employers that access and use social media in the hiring process.
Wall Street Journal | May 28, 2015
Providence Commercial Litigation counsel Steven Richard is quoted in this article discussing how state laws on social media are impacting employer-employee relations in the absence of an overarching federal law.
Employment Law Alert | 05.09.17
NP Privacy Partner | 05.05.17
Higher Education Alert | 03.16.17
NP Privacy Partner | 01.13.17
NP Privacy Partner | 12.29.16
NP Privacy Partner | 12.22.16
NP Privacy Partner | 12.16.16
NP Privacy Partner | 11.18.16
06.08.17 | Chicago, IL
05.19.17 | Warwick, RI
01.21.16 | Los Angeles, CA
11.18.15 | Buffalo, NY
11.21.14 | Rochester, NY