On demand 1h 24m 57s Basic

Social Media: Workplace Issues

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Social Media: Workplace Issues

This one hour presentation will highlight some of the legal issues arising out of the use of social media both in the workplace and off duty. We will consider the various considerations affecting both employers and attorneys when monitoring and reviewing social media activity. Attorneys who take this course will be better able to identify some of the many legal risks related to the use of social media and will be better able to mitigate those risks.

Transcript

Hi out there. Today we're gonna talk about social media and its implications for the workplace. So understand that this presentation is limited to workplace issues that arise out of social media. And lemme just say at the outset that I think it's fair to say that social media in general is a blessing and a curse. The blessing, many of us are aware of the increase in productivity, the incredible speed at which we can access data information, do research, etcetera. The use commercially, excuse me, of social media to brand and advertise. I just spent yesterday afternoon in a trademark case and a settlement agreement in a multimillion dollar trademark case. And one of the many things that I found fascinating about it was it's orientation was almost exclusively on the use of social media to brand and advertise particular marks and so on and so forth. But I'm not gonna talk about the blessings of social media. My job for you today is to talk about the curses of social media and the many, many legal problems that have arisen out of the use or the misuse, if you will, of social media. Well folks, you have in front of you what my deceased mother insists that you have to see and hopefully read, and that is the bio of myself, your speaker, Bob Fitzpatrick. Suffice it to say that I have been practicing for many decades, pretty much exclusively as an employment lawyer. I've represented clients on both sides of the aisle, if you will, that is, represented from the standpoint of management and from the standpoint of the employee. Spent some 17 years as one of the principal external council for probably our biggest private sector employer in the DC area and employer of some 22,000 employees. And I certainly learned during that process the thought processes and the problems in the employment arena from the standpoint of management. And concurrently throughout my career, I have represented employees from literally the CEO, the top-top, to the janitor, the bottom-bottom of the corporate hierarchy. And I love what I do, I still do it. I love trying to solve problems and I'd like to think I've been fairly successful at doing so. Settlement is one of my strengths that I have learned over the years, that's what most sane clients want, not litigation. And if you access me online, you'll see that I've written extensively on many subjects and one of which is settlement of employment disputes. You have on your screen now the disclaimer of liability and responsibility. Let me be very quick and simple in explaining all the legal gobbledygook. I'm not your lawyer, okay? I am just an educator. I am a human being and the last time I checked, human beings make mistakes. I make mistakes. I may say something here today during this presentation that is just dumber than dumb. I don't think I will, but I might. If you are even dumber than whatever my dumb comment might be, and you are dumb enough to rely upon me as you think I have given you advice or I have given you a statement of the law, that is 100% pluperfect correct, you are responsible exclusively for any mistake that you make. I have no direct derivative, whatever, responsibility for anything on these slides or anything that I might say. There is my handsome photo. More importantly, my email address. If you have any questions, concerns, criticisms, I'm very thick skinned, they are most welcome. But if you have any suggestions, questions that I simply don't have time to get to during this presentation and they are important to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by email. I am here to be of help to you. As I say, I've been doing this for many decades and I've learned a lot. And one of the joys in the later part of one's career, as I hope you will learn many years from now, is using the knowledge, the experience that you've acquired to help others. And so that email is there as a place you can go to and ask questions for my help and I will respond, I will try to be helpful. Sometimes I simply can't be, but I will make a best effort to be helpful. Okay, let's get into the meat and potatoes of our actual course. And the first question of course, and I hope you all out there know the answer to the question and that is, when can an employee be disciplined for a social media post? I think you all know that you clearly can be disciplined for an inappropriate post at work, and your employer may, it ought to, but many employers still do not have a social media policy. If you are representing the employees perspective in a matter, you should be familiar with the company's social media policy and be able to appropriately advise your client regarding same, and insist that your client, presumably an at will employee, scrupulously adhere to that policy. But that's not where the totality of the problems arise in terms of employees use of social media and being disciplined for it. And as you well know, there has been much publicity recently about individuals off the clock, off duty, not at work, sometimes in social media posts that were posted many, many years ago, even long before the individual began to work for whomever they now work for. And your client, in most jurisdictions, can be disciplined for an off duty post, can be disciplined for a post that may have been made decades ago. That is the world that we live in. There is no thing called privacy any longer when it comes to an individual's use of social media. Most courts, there are a few outliers, but most courts have said you use social media, therefore, even if it is just to one, two, or three people and your private setting is on, you no longer have any expectation of privacy. And what comments your client can be disciplined for, as we all know, run the gamut clearly, racially offensive comments, the use of racial slurs is and frankly should be the end of one's career. Gender slurs, LGBTQAI+ slurs also will merit discipline. But we go far beyond that, and one has to be extremely careful in terms of what you put in any social media, even if you have your privacy settings on, it may be viewed as hurtful to someone. We have the case, and I'm gonna change a bit what the facts are, but of this 83 year old godmother of Prince William in the United Kingdom who had a function, and I'm now changing what are maybe the facts, I don't know if we'll ever really know what the facts are, but the lady, this 83 year old asked a person of color, who is a British citizen and was born in the UK, whose parents had immigrated from, I don't know which country in Africa, and was asked, where do you come from? Where in Africa do you come from? Now, apparently there was much more in terms of the length and tone of the conversation. But suffice it to say that Prince William has disowned his godmother and condemned her as a racist for these comments, and racists they may very well have been. And they weren't in social media, but they are a lesson for social media that what you may think at first blush is not hurtful, is not harmful, is not what is called a microaggression, may be viewed by others as hurtful and may result in discipline of you, regardless of the context in which you post on social media. I think I just put up the slide on private sector employees having a reasonable expectation of privacy, I think I've basically covered that. Most courts say if you communicate to some other person, could be one, you could have a small group that you communicate with and you have the privacy setting on. You are responsible for what you say, and for that matter, how you respond to others in that group who may be the ones uttering, for example, slurs and you don't disavow it. That might, depending upon the facts and circumstances, result in discipline of you. So once again, never assume that it's private, always assume that this could be on the front page of tomorrow's paper, and therefore think first before you post. And it isn't going to get any better anytime soon. Public sector employees have a little bit more modicum, if you will, of protections against discipline for their use of social media. And it will be the typical constitutional analysis that the courts go through under Pickering and cases like that. Many of these public sector cases have been law enforcement and there have been some jaw dropping stories about communications between law enforcement officers, one another, and racist tropes, slurs in the back and forth between law enforcement offices. Typically there is, even though they are public sector, typically no defense. Now there may be a union, and the union may take it to grievance, may even take it to arbitration, and that may provide, depending upon the dynamics, if you will, between the union and management, it may provide some avenue for mitigation in part or in whole of discipline in those circumstances. I don't have a site for you, but there is a case that just came down, I think yesterday, out of the Western district of Washington dealing with preemption. And because there was a union setting and apparently the court ruled that that preempted all other remedies. I'm not sure that that is a correct decision. I think it's probably headed to the Ninth Circuit from the Western District of Washington. Another public, or it might be private, but what I'm familiar with is a case out of the Sixth Circuit that was a public sector university, Shawnee State, and it is the preferred pronoun issue. And this has been enormously, in my judgment, blown out of proportion by many insisting that they have either religious or free speech rights to refuse to use an individual's preferred pronoun. And there is a lot of activity in that regard and a lot of literature out there. The Sixth Circuit last year in 2021 in Meriwether, M, E, R, I, W, E, T, H, E, R, versus Hartop, H, A, R, T, O, P, the Sixth Circuit found that Shawnee State had unconstitutionally terminated a professor, Meriwether, who refused to refer to one of his students by the students preferred pronoun. And he, the professor, won before the Sixth Circuit. I believe I saw the other day that that case settled, and I wanna say it's settled for something like, I could be wrong, but the number that sticks in my head is $400,000 to the professor for refusing to refer to a student by the student's preferred pronoun. You also are aware of, I'll call them celebrities, they both begin with a K, one is a Trump adorer who just had dinner with the former president, first name begins with a K, and then the other is a basketball player whose name also begins with a K, and both of them are being pilloried in the media because of various social media posts. I think, but I could be wrong, in both cases they are antisemitic tropes posts. And so we know that everyone is affected by, or can be affected by what they put on social media. What law should be considered by whichever side you may be on? The law that is getting most activity right now is the Biden NLRB, National Labor Relations Board. And the board has gone so far as to say that even some posts by management are inherently consorted activity and subject to Section 7 of the NLRA remedies. The NLRB now is fully under the control of the new, or the relatively new administration, the Biden administration, as you may know, it sometimes takes some time for a new administration to get control over agencies like the NLRB, because you know there are five members and you gotta get your three people at least in place. The president now does have control over the board and now does have his choice as attorney general in place. And I think we will see over the next, at least in the run up to the next election, we will see an increasingly aggressive NLRB. And if you are in a union or a non-union, and that's important, the NLRA can apply in a non-union setting where there is no collective bargaining agreement. But if management disciplines one or more employees because of a post that is deemed by the board to be concerted in conditions, it may be discussions about pay, it may be grumbling about the boss, all of those, no collective bargaining agreement, no union may be viewed by the NLRB as violations of the act. And if you represent employees, your local field office of the NLRB is a place that you would go with a complaint on behalf of such an individual. Understand that the time limits at the board are extremely short. You know, you may be used to dealing with time limits at EEOC which some view as extremely short, you ain't seen nothing yet. Then the NLRB's time limits, you need to move with alacrity if you're gonna play your NLRA card. Okay, trade secrets is a real problem. And I think fair to say there's two aspects to it, there is the unintentional aspect where, you know, the employee is not a bad actor, just isn't thinking through the implications of what they might be doing. So it can run the gamut from an employee who sends to himself, for good reasons, let's just take a customer list, and somehow that customer list, through no direct fault of the employee, negligence, but you know, not an intentional, deliberate stealing by the employee, but nonetheless, that customer list or whatever that trade secret document may be, may migrate away from the employee's now at home electronic device and may migrate to some competitor who now has the trade secret, the customer list, whatever it may be. And I'll just give you a second example of the unintentional disclosure of trade secret. If I were on screen right now, and you could see me, I don't, but let's assume I have visually on my desk that you could see emails between myself and a client that are, you know, clearly attorney-client privileged communications, clearly trade secrets, so to speak, but I've got 'em sitting on my desk and you're talking to me on the screen, and while maybe you can't read the document, the technology as such, that if you record and later then you know, expand, expand, expand if you will, you can get to the point where you can actually read that document sitting on my desk. So when employees who have trade secrets in their workspace and have a communication with particularly an outsider, they need to scrupulously think through what do I have on my desk that I need to turn over, or put out of view, or whatever, okay? These are examples of just a little bit of negligence, unintentional, but then we got the bad guys, and there are some number of bad guys, and you know, I use the word guys as you know, covering both genders, so don't leap on me, okay? There are bad guys out there who they're getting ready to leave, this is your kind of your classic set scenario, getting ready to lead the company. And so they may take an external hard drive, they may just send it to their selves at home, you know, to a home computer, to their wife's computer, to their kids' computer, you know, whatever. And you can watch this, you, management, you can prevent this actually, the technology is out there now to prevent it. And the technology is out there, been long out there, where you can at least get an alert that it is happening, and you need to, you know, why the heck are, you know, Joe Blow, Jane Blow, why are you sending customer lists, customer files, business plans, business development plans, product development plans, why are you sending these to yourself or why did you download them onto an external drive? You need to jump on that if you can before the person's departure. I have another course on exit interviews, which I think is a much unused mechanism that management has to try to identify the bad guys who have taken information just before they leave. But you need to be aware that this is a real problem, can be a very expensive problem for management, and it is one that technology, and policies, and penalties can manage. Okay, background checks. And the question is, you know, may an employer, you know, blah, blah, blah, use a background check of our prospective employee to review, among other things, their social media activity? This is one where I think the answer is yeah, you can do it, but if you ask me if I was representing management and you asked me should you do it? My answer, I think in 100% of cases would be no, absolutely not. Why? Real simple, you're gonna learn things in a background check that you don't wanna know. One of the jobs of human resources is to give you appropriate and avoid giving you inappropriate information on job applicants so that you don't know the applicant's race, age, you don't know that she's pregnant, you don't know that the individual is, you know, bisexual, you know, LGBTQ, you don't know any of that, you don't know anything about religion, you don't know anything about age, etcetera, etcetera. You don't know anything about their politics. You do a background check and, yeah, you may find stuff on social media where you say, you know, there's no way in God's green earth that I'm gonna employ this idiot who, you know, posted whatever on social media. But, you are also going to learn many traits of the individual that are protected traits that you don't want to know. And then if you do not hire the individual and you've done a background check, and you've learned these things, you have knowledge and adverse action, and you have the potential there for a lawyer, and a claim, and unnecessary expense because you have conducted a background check. So my advice is, yeah, you can do it, and maybe every now and then you're gonna find some idiot who you know is posting racial slurs, whatever it may be that you don't wanna hire. That's not enough on the benefits side to avoid the curse side of this that I've just described, the learning what you really don't wanna know. And it seems to me there are other ways, and other times, and other circumstances where you can get to the bottom of somebody who has moved to, for example, conditional offer of hire, but you have their consent to do a background check that includes a social media activity check, and you already know what you know, you know, that still is fraught with problems, but at least you are not doing it across the board to all applicants. May employer demand that employees provide their passwords logins so that the employer can access their social media? In many states there is now legislation that addresses that issue, and some states that prohibits it. You need to be familiar with what legislation may exist in your state. One of the link materials that you'll see at the bottom of each page, one of the linked materials on this page is a compilation of state laws on password requests. It may not be up to date, you know, as of whenever you read this, and it may not be correct as to what information may be in there about your state in question as of the time you read this. So you need to do your own independent due diligence on this. But in those states where you have the freedom to do so, then make sure at a minimum that you have papered the employee job applicant's consent. Monitoring social media activity, once again, seems to me that this relates to having a social media policy and informing your employees that anything that is posted in their devices that are owned and controlled by the company is fair game and that they should be aware that you, whatever, periodically, whatever it may be, monitor that social media activity. If you are going to monitor social media activity outside the workplace, then you need to, excuse me, A, have that a part of your social media policy, and if it were me, I would paper it. I want written agreements with the employee. Online sex harassment, and you know, the written question is limited to sex harassment, but you know, it could be racial harassment, it could be LGBTQ, etcetera, it could be any form of harassment based upon a protected activity. And you know, in a prior age, and I indicated, you know, that for many, many years I was one of the principal external lawyers for a large employer, and one of the things that I learned fairly early in the relationship is, yeah, I mean every now and then you'd have the hangman's noose and you know, offensive items like that in the workplace, but where the real offensive stuff was, was in the restroom stalls, scrawled on the walls inside the stalls was just some of the most obnoxious stuff imaginable, most of it, back in those days, racial. We went to a policy of cleansing the stalls, literally, I think, on a daily basis to protect our employees and protect ourselves, management, from potential liability for being, if you will, asleep at the switch. That stuff is still probably there in a lot of bathroom stalls around the country, but it also now is online, and there is a lot of people call it cyber bullying, online harassment, sending inappropriate pictures to, you know, a male to a female, or it can just go on and on, you've heard these examples. If that comes to your attention, your being management's attention, or if it comes to the attention of you as the employee, employees council needs to alert management. If management having been alerted or having gotten a complaint from the employee or through its monitoring of social media activity within the workplace. If management becomes aware of this, it needs to act immediately with the alacrity that is required in your normal, you know, if normal's the right adjective, sex harassment case. We know, you know, if a harassment complaint is brought to your attention, you are required to investigate ASAP. The analysis doesn't change one wit if it is online sexual harassment. And if you are not proactive about it, that is an invitation to big time trouble. Preservation of social media. And this is a growing area. I think historically the emphasis has been on ESI, electronically stored information, and e-discovery, and I think us lawyers for the last decade or so have grown much, much more mature about ESI, and the preservation of it, and lit holds, and so on. I think only recently are we now becoming aware and maturing that we also have, excuse me, preservation obligations with respect to social media, and some of these preservation obligations can be technologically, there is some difficulties associated with it, some of which we'll touch upon. But number one issue it seems to me is when is the trigger switch pulled that you, and I'll come back to you in a moment, that you have an obligation to preserve? Okay, you now the employee and you the lawyer for the employee. In my judgment, in most circumstances, that preservation obligation, which is triggered by the knowledge that this might end up in litigation, okay? That trigger switch it seems to me is turned normally earlier for the employee and the employee's council than management. You employee council, know that you are talking to this employee or former employee and evaluating a case, and discussing the possibility of litigation against the company. Seems to me the trigger has been pulled and you have an obligation to advise your client that your client has a duty to preserve evidence, including social media evidence, and we may not get to it. Ethically you can't, for example say, oh my god, employee/client, I've looked at your social media, I've looked at your Facebook, and oh God, you need to delete this stuff, this is horrible, this is really gonna hurt your case. Can't do that. You got a duty to preserve and follow up with the client, and hopefully make certain that the client does preserve evidence. You are across the ethical line if you are advising the client to destroy evidence, and of course, destroy is a tough word as we know with electronic stuff. Delete doesn't mean destroy, it's still there, and it can be in many circumstances resuscitated. It may be expensive and that may be your dime, and you know, you say to yourself, oh, well it's my client's dime. Oh no, it may be your dime, lawyer, and it may be your time in a malpractice case filed by your client because you knew and you didn't give the proper advice on a timely basis. Okay, and if I'm management, once the trigger is turned for me, and it typically is, you know, EEOC charge and demand letter, or whatever, those are two classic triggers in employment disputes for management, you know, oh gee, I didn't know you know about this, but now I do, okay. You gotta get outta lit hold to employees, the right people, and you gotta do your diligence to determine, who are the people that are most likely to have on their devices, not just ESI, but social media that relates to this controversy. And you may need to go to non-parties, contractors, former employees, whatever. But one thing that management doesn't do and ought to be doing is, you know, I tell employment lawyers, send a preservation letter to the employer and you know, say, I don't know everybody who might have something, but here are some of the likely platforms, here is some of the information that ought to be retained. And you know, you can excuse yourself by saying, you know, this isn't exhausted, but these certainly ought to be among the ones it seems to us from what we know about this controversy that ought to be notified, you know, to preserve, and you ought to follow up. And sending a preservation letter like that, management to employee counsel, or the employee who is pro se and doesn't have counsel, is worth its weight in gold. And there are some great preservation letters out there, I'm not endorsing any particular one, there are many templates out there, including, there is an excellent, but I'm not endorsing it, okay, emphasis, but there excellent preservation letter from former president Trump, one of his lawyers. And I think if you go Trump preservation letter, something like that, you'll find it. Craig Ball, who you may know kind of is the guru, a wonderful man, and for, you know, his life career has been devoted to e-discovery. He's got an excellent preservation letter, but there are many out there. And the last thing I'd say about preservation letters is just don't take something off the shelf and use it. You might, you know, takes something off the shelf and then revise it so it addresses your particular circumstance. What might constitute spoliation, sanctions, possible, I think we've talked a little bit about, let's assume that, you know, there's an auto delete button, you know, every 30 days, whatever, you know, everything is automatically deleted, and that's gonna affect, you know, it's gonna delete social media. You need to step in and stop the auto delete button. You know, there's a lot of literature and it's an entire separate course, if you will, about the technology and what you need to do in terms of preservation letters, lit holds, and following through on lit holds. You can't just send a lit hold out and then go to sleep at the switch. You have to follow through and make sure that your lit hold is understood and is being followed, is being obeyed. There are circumstances where you want non-parties to preserve social media. There may be legal issues as to whether you can, you know, whether they have a legal obligation to do so. But certainly if they receive from you a letter, subpoena, whatever, to preserve social media, many people will obey and comply. Social media discovery, it kind of started out with what I would describe as just fishing expedition discovery. Discovery that just asked for everything, you know, gimme your devices and gimme the passwords to your devices, and you know, we'll review everything and see if we might find something that hurts you employee. And the courts, pretty uniformly, there are still, I think, an outlier or two out there, but for the most part the court said, no way, we're not gonna permit a fishing expedition, and we're not gonna permit you to take social media discovery of the employee unless you can give us some basis for such discovery. And you know, I see we're kinda way over time, so you know, I'm gonna jump ahead to 30 deposition. You know, a 30 deposition is usually used against management, and once again is kind of a whole separate presentation about 30 s. It is one of the most powerful tools in litigation lawyers tool boxes, okay? It's just a terrific instrument. To the point of almost never gets used by management against the employee. And it seems to me that one of its uses can be to develop the case factually, and you can do this, I guess, at just a normal deposition, but develop the case that there is information on social media and on the employees social media that relates to the case, and therefore you should be permitted to take discovery. You know, lay the foundation to frame the social media discovery. Same applies to taking social media discovery of management. Seems to me the 30 works even more so in that setting. And I would be focusing in a 30 on, you know, many, many topics. There may be, and they have to be particularized, but I certainly would focus in on social media platforms, activities by the principles in the matter, and is there social media out there that relates to the matter? Use of social media at a Rule 35 Mental Exam? I've spoken many, many, many times about Rule 35 MEs, and I'm happy to answer questions about it. The papers couldn't be linked to this, I apologize. If you really have an abiding interest in the topic, just let me know by email and I'll send you some of our written materials. Suffice it to say that the forensic examiner at a Rule 35 Exam may be able to use to your benefit, your being typically management's benefit, the social media discovery, and certainly if you are employees council and your client's going to Rule 35 ME, you need to be prepared for how is your client in that ME gonna respond to questions about some of their social media posts. The classic is, you know, you're saying that you've suffered emotional distress. Nobody puts typically on social media pictures of yourself when you're blue and depressed. You put pictures when you're with family, and trying to act happy, so on. And they're gonna be used against you on the emotional distress claim. You need to be ready if they've been disclosed in discovery, you need to be ready for the forensics examiner using them in a Rule 35 Mental Exam, and how your client responds. Admissibility battles over social media. I would recommend, A, know your rules of evidence, know your local case law, take a look at some of these linked articles here, realize there are some significant issues with some judges about authentication. And Judge Grimm from the district of Maryland has been a strong writer, researcher on ESI and evidence issues, and admissibility and authentication issues. Anything that Judge Paul Grimm has written on this subject is worth a read. And I think he has a law review on the subject, you know, you can find it online, Paul Grimm, G, R, I, M, M, used to be a magistrate judge, district of Maryland, and then became an Article Three Judge in the district of Maryland. Subpoenas to the social media platforms. The short of the long, you know, there's a lot of material here on the slide deck. Short of the long is many of the platforms now have written processes, procedures for accessing social media history. And as long as you follow their processes, you may get it. Just slapping a subpoena on them is not necessarily the best way to approach the issue. Certainly learn each one's procedures for obtaining access and make sure you are obtaining complete access. Ephemeral social media preservation, you know, this is the stuff that supposedly goes away in a discernible short period of time. It's a bit troublesome in terms of preservation, but take a look at what's the materials here, it's not an insurmountable problem. What ought to be in onboarding agreements and corporate policies? Once again, this is kind of a separate course, if you will, but I am of the view, there are people who disagree, I am of the view that more is best, some are of the view that there ought not to be a huge stack of agreements for the onboarding employee to sign on. Certainly confidentiality, trade secret protection, non-disparagement of coworkers, company product, trade secret protection agreements, social media policy that you've been given it and certify you've read it, and I could go on and on. I have a long list of onboarding agreements that should at least be considered as to whether you want your employees to accept and sign off. And I'll close this topic just by saying there's now a lot of case law about acceptance of these agreements by, you know, doing so online, and so much of this activity, excuse me, now takes place online, and there is a developing body of case law as to how to configure the acceptance of policies, whether it be social media, arbitration, non-solicit, you know, whatever it may be. And you need to be aware of, your IT people in particular, need to be aware of how best to configure online the acceptance of policies and being able to prove if challenged that the person did press, you know, the button, accept, or whatever it may be. On the slide you have in front of you now about customer lists. So on ownership issues, I'm just gonna briefly touch, ownership issues has become a bit of the problem. I haven't seen that much of it yet come across my desk. There's certainly been a lot of chatter about it online, depending upon how customer contacts, customer lists are used. I mean if you have an employee who has used his or her device to develop customer contacts, customer lists, and he may take or she may take the position, I own this, goodbye, I'm leaving and going elsewhere to a competitor and taking what I own, this list, you need to address that situation and make it crystal clear that even though it was developed by him or her and on his or her personal device, nonetheless, that information belongs exclusively to you. Non-solicitation agreements and social media issues. The non-solicit agreement, which is far more likely in this era to be enforced than a noncompete. And so I recommend the clients that they consider a non-solicit rather than noncompete. The non-solicit should address social media issues that now former employee can't use social media to promote yourself with some of the customers, clients that you used to work with. There's a lot of chatter online about this, and a fair amount of case law. I recommend that you take a look at some of the linked materials, and there's much, much other stuff also that you can access online. Document retention, I think we've discussed that a bit, and I highly recommend that you read what we have here on this page of the PowerPoint. Ethical issues for lawyers, I think I briefly touched on that earlier, there are many, many unique social media issues that arise for us lawyers. Be certain that you access your bars, ethics opinions, I would, certainly, if you have any question, if you have one, we have a terrific one here in DC, your bars ethics hotline, it's not binding advice, they'll quickly tell you, we're just gonna give you our best shot. But you know, they know the opinions, they know the rules, they know how to frame the issues and the questions. I highly recommend consultation with them. If you're in a really, and you know, I've had a few, where the hotline, just doesn't have a definitive answer. I mean, this is a new world for them also. There are a few circumstances where you may want to consult with ethics council. There are, you know, there's niche lawyers out there who, that's how they make their living. Training programs. Now I put aside issues, you know, you can see what's here, but it seems to me that much of this needs to come from the top. That's who gets paid attention to. If the CEO, depending upon the size of your company, comes down and speaks emphatically about, we're not gonna tolerate, you know, whatever the topic is that relates in some way to social media, typically it will be harassment and trade secrets. And if for whatever reason it isn't gonna work with the CEO personally coming out, creating a video with the CEO, culture changes, obedience to policies. When it is heard from the top, it is more likely to work. We've gone way, way over our one hour time limit, and I hope I have been of some little help to you today. You have on your screen again my email address, and I will just emphasize in closing, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of some assistance to you, and certainly don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have criticism about this program, or suggestions for such future programs, or some of the ones that I have referred to that, you know, simply, it really is a separate program. So I thank you for your time and attention. I hope I've been of some help to you, and have a wonderful day. Take care, bye-bye.

Presenter(s)

RF
Robert Fitzpatrick
Attorney
Robert B. Fitzpatrick, PLLC

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