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What Victoria Woodhull (Our True First Presidential Nominee) Can Teach Americans About Political Action (& How To Manage Politically Charged Talk In The Office)

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to head a majority party ticket as the Democratic nominee for President. But did you ever wonder why the press emphasizes the clause, “of a major party ticket”? It’s because almost 150 years ago, the United States witnessed its true first female candidate for President, Victoria Woodhull.

Never heard of her? It’s not surprising. Even in her own time, Victoria Woodhull was controversial.

Like most women of her era, Victoria Woodhull received no formal education. As one of 10 children, she dropped out of school—in favor of marriage—and eventually became a “clairvoyant.” It was through contacting sprits and selling life elixirs that she and her sister, Tennessee, eventually made a living.

Soon, Victoria and her sister caught the eye of railroad baron Cornelius Vanderbilt, who was suspicious of medically-trained doctors. Tennessee would become Vanderbilt’s mistress, and this mutually beneficial relationship (and a few stock tips later) would help finance the women’s stock brokerage firm.

As a result, Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee became the first female brokers on Wall Street (and you thought a woman running for U.S. President in 1872 would be the most surprising part!).

In April 1870, two months after opening up the brokerage firm, Victoria Woodhull announced her candidacy for President of the United States. She advocated for women’s suffrage, regulation of monopolies, nationalization of railroads, an eight-hour workday, direct taxation, abolition of the death penalty, and welfare for the poor (read more on History’s “9 Things You Should Know About Victoria Woodhull“).

So, in many ways, this year wasn’t at all a “crack in the glass ceiling” as Hillary Clinton announced at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. In fact, based on the plethora of platforms for which Victoria Woodhull was already campaigning more than a century earlier, America seems to be behind, rather than ahead.

“While others prayed for the good time coming, I worked for it,” Victoria Woodhull once said. Today, as presidential election looms and Brexit blooms, let’s hope people are prepared for more than rhetoric—like notorius Victoria back in 1870 (read her incredible biography here).

Of course, a bombardment of information and opinions makes political chatter in the workplace inevitable.

But what happens when political talk interrupts workflow or escalates to bad behavior? As an employer trying to retain productivity, keep the peace, and avoid legal landmines can be more challenging than you may think.

In fact, there’s a host of legal concerns surrounding barring political talk or disciplining employees for engaging in political behavior.

Take C4CM’s webinar, “Politics in the Workplace: How to Legally Manage Politically Charged Activity at Work,” on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 from 2:00 PM To 3:15 PM Eastern.

During this practical and timely webinar, you will learn what employers can – and can’t do – to manage political activity in the workplace, including:

  • What employers can do to manage political discussions and fundraising
  • How to address political discussions in the workplace under federal and state laws
  • What employers should never do when it comes to political activities or chatter
  • How the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applies
  • How the new SCOTUS ruling Heffernan vs. City of Paterson impacts employers
  • When an employee’s political discussion is protected by the First Amendment

By the end of the information-packed session, you will know more about:

  • When discipline for political-related behavior is appropriate and legal
  • What defines political harassment in the workplace
  • What constitutes business harm from employee’s political speech
  • How to handle controversial or political social media posts by an employee
  • How to handle office sponsored political functions supported by management
  • Dress code dos and don’ts

-WB

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Amazon Struggles With Fine Print On Prime Day: Why Your Law Firm Should Educate Its Clients On Contracting

If businesses don’t struggle with the ethics of “consent” to fine print, they should.

The debate has long ended; it is now universally understood that people do not read deeply buried disclosures of “terms and conditions,” and while boilerplates remain industry standard, so is the subsequent outrage by consumers about the morality of this choice.

From subprime mortgage lending to hurricane insurance, fine print once made a fine debate. Today, however, researchers and laymen alike acknowledge that these clandestine clauses remain unread, unrealistic, and therefore unwelcome.

Only a well-trained attorney could possibly decipher these legalese-laden contracts, which begs the question (well-put in the Iowa Law Review), “how seriously should contract law take consent in a world in which consumers must consent lightly to most of their contractual obligations?”

Yesterday, Amazon struck an unlucky deal with Visa on Prime Day. In addition to extra Prime discounts, holders of the Amazon Visa card also received 30% off all-day orders. Except, those coupon-cutting customers who didn’t read the fine print stating “while supplies last” were out of luck at check-out. Apparently, supplies didn’t last past 1pm and Amazon’s customer service lines fielded complaints.

What could Amazon have learned from the exchange?

  1. Don’t deliberately confuse clients with legalese

Sometimes it’s impossible to edit out all the legalese. After all, contracts must be succinct, legally binding documents requiring many years of experience and thousands of dollars to draft them.

Nevertheless, boilerplate verbiage and ultra fine print are things of the past. “Most disclosures arise in an already crowded field of boilerplate. As such, most people have no choice but to perform a kind of triage on their reading priorities due to the overwhelming volume of information that disclosees face in a given day,” explains Tess Wilkinson-Ryan, in “A Psychological Account of Consent to Fine Print,” in Faculty Scholarship.

“Distorted risk perceptions, salience biases, and framing effects make it very unlikely that consumers will read the terms of form contracts—and even if they do read the terms, it is unlikely that they will integrate the information into their decision-making process in a sensible way.”

Instead of frustrating your clients with ex-post explanations like, “it was in the fine print,” or “you read the contact before you signed it,” avoid complaints and liability later by writing clear-cut contracting language today. Include “while supplies last” in large print with the title, or–for law firm contracting–keep contracts at 12pt font and limit the number of pages.

  1. Clients are overconfident about their own understanding of contracting

So now you have a contract and you’re ready for clients to sign it. They consent—or do they?

People overestimate their abilities in general and, specifically, overestimate their natural talent for reading and understanding contracts.

For example, 88% of the American population rates their own driving as safer than the median driver. And, 85% of a random sample of residents of New Jersey thought that they had “below-average” risk of getting food poisoning [via Faculty Scholarship].

Most likely your clients will never admit they’re confused about terms and conditions your lawyers have laid out. So, take a minute to explain it again verbally. It may not be legally-binding like a signature, but it protects your practice ethically.

  1. Think more about what you should do as opposed to what you’re legally bound to do

Yes, fine print exists. Yes, consumers and clients are aware of it. Yes, unread terms of agreement are legally binding. No, it doesn’t absolve your firm from blame.

As lawyers or law firm managers, don’t get bogged down by requisite behaviors, such as including a boilerplate. Take a moment to think about what you should do as opposed to what you’re minimally required to do.

In the least, if you’re Amazon, you’ll save time, cost, and effort justifying your actions and, instead, lock-in loyal customers or clients—while supplies last.

 

-WB

For audio and training courses (including CLEs) on law firm management, including drafting contracts, maximizing legal networks, and building a productive, profitable law firm, go to C4CM’s website here.

References:

  1. Wilkinson-Ryan, Tess, “A Psychological Account of Consent to Fine Print” (2014). Faculty Scholarship. Paper 1301. http://bit.ly/29PRsaV

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Merger Mania: Microsoft Buys LinkedIn In Record Deal (& MS Word Tips For Lawyers)

The world looked one direction, and Microsoft slipped a multi-billion dollar cash purchase past us.

While political news dominated the air and digital waves, the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft almost went without notice. But, this week, it’s finally possible to let Microsoft’s largest acquisition in history sink in. At $26.2 billion, the acquisition of LinkedIn is more than three times the size of Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype in 2011 for (what’s now, a mere) $8.5 billion (via CNN Money).

It may not come as a total surprise, however, as Microsoft has been hedging its bets in the social networking world for a few years now.

Microsoft bought Yammer, a “freemium” private social network for corporate use similar to Facebook, for $1.2 billion back in 2012. Yammer came with a user base of more than 200,000 companies, which—one can guess—would help Microsoft build a larger B2B clientele for its Office products (via Forbes).

LinkedIn, with more than 433 million members, seems to have added to Microsoft’s incentive to invest in the corporate world of networking. LinkedIn, for its part, has been equally eager to grow.

In February 2016, LinkedIn shares closed down 43.6 percent, which represented $11 billion in market value. Furthermore, LinkedIn reported that online ad revenue growth slowed to 20 percent in the latest quarter from 56 percent a year earlier, as reported by Reuters.

All in all, LinkedIn may have been looking for the kind of leverage Microsoft offers to pull them out of a financial funk.

Chief executive at Microsoft, Satya Nadella, shed some light on the purchase, saying in an email to Microsoft employees, “This combination [of Microsoft and LinkedIn] will make it possible for new experiences,” such as “Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.”

In addition, he said that these experiences will “get more intelligent and delightful.”

Some, however, are convinced that this combination will be, in fact, neither intelligent nor delightful.

Randall Stross of The New York Times wrote an opinion article, “Why LinkedIn Will Make You Hate Microsoft Word,” in which he writes:

“Did Mr. Nadella, who has been at Microsoft since 1992, learn nothing from the Clippy disaster? Clippy, the animated anthropomorphic paper clip introduced in 1996, popped up unbidden in Microsoft Office programs to offer advice. ‘Are you writing a letter?’ it would ask annoyingly. Clippy became famous for the ire it provoked and, in 2010, Time magazine included Clippy in a roundup of the 50 worst inventions of all time, along with asbestos, leaded gasoline and pay toilets.”

Mergers are certainly on the mind. It’s hard to know when your firm is falling behind and when it’s correctly eschewing technological change.

Change can be powerful for growth. But even great firms fail. Leadership—and majority market share—in the personal computer industry changed hands often from Altair, to Tandy, to Apple, to IBM, to Compaq, to Dell, to HP (Tellis and Golder 1996; 2001). And, Microsoft executives are acutely aware of the acquisitions made by their social network competitors. Even Mr. Stross for The New York Times laments:

“But I suspect that both Mr. Nadella [of Microsoft] and Mr. Weiner [of LinkedIn] are afflicted with extremely bad cases of Facebook envy. Every tech company, including Microsoft, contemplated buying, or actually tried to buy, Facebook in its early days, and all are haunted by the thought of the deal that got away. Today, Facebook’s market capitalization is about $320 billion, not that far behind Microsoft’s $394 billion.” 

Merger mania is upon us. Yet, key questions remain unanswered: what is more important to success? Does success depend on high-quality products or, today, does it depend entirely on a social network peers?

-WB

Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint… your Office partners are such familiar friends, but when they prevent you from doing what you need to do, they can turn into enemies.

In fact, even if you use Microsoft programs on a daily basis, there’s always something you want to do—and you’re certain it can be done!—but you don’t know how do it.

Have you ever thought:

  • “There’s got to be an easier way?”
  • Are you overwhelmed by the computer work you need to get done every day?
  • Do you feel like it takes too long to get things done in your Office programs but you don’t have the time to learn the shortcuts and new features?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then take C4CM’s audio course, “Top 10 Microsoft Office Tips, Tools, Tricks and Shortcuts: From Basic Business User to Power User,” on Tuesday, July 12, 2016 from 2:00 PM To 3:15 PM Eastern.

In just 75 minutes you will learn how to work less AND better by using more of the technology you have at your fingertips.

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Failed Legal Strategy in Staples-Office Depot Deal? How To Successfully Negotiate Your Way Through JV Agreements & Mergers

The proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot was a bold move. The #1 and #2 office supply big box chains confessed from the start that the consolidation would suppress market competition. In fact, the F.T.C. already blocked this merger in 1997. Nevertheless, it took a new decision passed down by a federal judge’s order last month to end what was sure to be a violation of consumer-, if not also anti-trust.

So why did these two business behemoths think they could get away with it this time?

First, the two box chain clients claimed that while a merger would, in fact, reduce competition in some ways, it would also expand competition via growing the overall market. Through this merger, Staples asserted that it could invest more completely in online businesses, going head-to-head with companies like Amazon, for example.

Second, the Staples-Office Depot legal team relied heavily on its hired gun (her firm calls her a “hired bazooka”) Diane Sullivan to make their case. The New York Times pointed out that more puzzling than the court’s decision was Sullivan’s, who rested her defense without presenting any evidence or calling any witnesses.

So, in the end, the merger—which would have created a company 15 times larger than its nearest competitor—was put to a stop. But not before Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia released a written opinion emphasizing the importance of competition and antitrust in a world of big money and big mergers.

If there’s a lesson for lawyers, it’s that presenting evidence to defend your case (and this would seem obvious) is necessary for such high-stakes claims. Joint ventures offer companies the opportunity to quickly gain access to new markets or technologies. But recent legal opinion pushes a pro-enforcement stance on “market definition,” where experts via art or science describe the competitive effects of an action, like mergers and JVs.

Before your firm even reaches the courtroom, failure to carefully negotiate and structure a JV can create problems and legal liabilities for all parties down the road.

Do you know how to effectively negotiate, draft and structure joint ventures that best protect your client from the changes that occur over the life of the relationship?

If you can’t answer that question, consider taking C4CM’s audio course, “Joint Venture Agreements: Advanced Structuring, Drafting and Negotiating Strategies,” on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 from 2:00 PM To 3:15 PM Eastern.

During this information-packed CLE webinar, David L. Forney, Partner with K&L Gates LLP, and J Andrew Watson III, Shareholder at Maynard, Cooper, Gale–will explain key legal issues you should consider at the formation of a JV, and how to:

  • minimize risk for the parties
  • determine the proper legal structure
  • establish governance and control protocol
  • create exit strategies
  • address key issues surrounding disputes, resolution, and damages

Additional topics will include:

  • experience with specific joint ventures
  • competition issues
  • understanding the importance of the business plan
  • developing representations, warranties, and covenants
  • understanding the importance of ancillary documents

Staples ditched their last tag line “That was easy,” in favor of, “Make more happen”: advice that the Staples-Office Depot legal team needed to apply to their merger strategy.

 

-WB

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Excel Tips For Lawyers & How (Not) To Take A Holiday: Citi Execs Undeterred By Brexit Referendum Despite Market Volatility

Perhaps we should all take a page from Citigroup’s top tier’s Top Gear playbook and relax over those Brexit fears.

Last week, several senior executives specializing in foreign exchange trading at Citigroup’s London office opted out of billable hours and opted into a Ferrari funfest. According to the Financial Times, five of the bank’s top financiers took a “Ferrari safari” around France rather than help prepare for an event that could potentially pound down the country’s currency.

Lower ranks were forced to work long hours on prep for the June 23 referendum—a decision that will determine whether or not the UK exits the European Union—and described the bank directors’ ill-timed holiday as “insulting”.

Now, however, we’re forced to ask, were these caravan critiques made in vain?

Global equities rallied and the pound strengthened today, the most since 2008, with news hinting that the UK has no intention of leaving the EU after all. Instead, the S&P 500 Index shot up, the most in a month, and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index had its largest gain since August as a poll showed Britons favored remaining in the EU.

As star Citi executives sipped on champagne, the Sterling jumped 2 percent, Spanish bonds rocketed, and credit risk fell the most since March, reports Bloomberg. So, don’t vilify those VIPs just yet for rallying, the market seems to be doing much of the same.

If you’re not ready to hop into your Ferrari just yet, try taking another page from this Sterling story. You can bet that the rank-and-file members of Citigroup were making good use of Excel spreadsheets in their GB pound preparation.

Excel is not a tool exclusive to finance executives, law firm managers can make use of it, too. Excel provides many functions that lawyers can use to achieve productivity gains and perfect time-saving techniques that increase overall profitability.

Organizing timesheets in Excel can help trend your most significant cases over time. A legal administrator can organize attorney time by case matter, month, billable hours, or the billing attorney to discover which cases are the most active and which may need more attention, which attorney billed the most this month and which the least.

The best part of using Excel to short cut your expense cutting is that this complex calculator comes free with MS Office.

Your first tip? Press Ctrl + Shift + L too apply filters to your data. Filters create an easy-to-use drop down menu that automatically categories fields in your row or column.

For other tips and tricks, take The Center For Competitive Management’s audio course, “How to Use Excel for Law Firm Billing,” on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 2:00 PM To 3:15 PM Eastern. Other Excel audio courses can be found here and here.

The same day you learn how to balance your budget, you can see exactly how much of your investments remain after the UK referendum is sure to rock financial markets.

-WB

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Third-Party Litigation Funding: Low-Blow To Gawker Media?

If there are only two lessons to be learned from the Gawker Media story this week, it’s that money talks and third-party litigation financing matters.

The first conclusion—that money buys verdicts—is not a new idea. Of course money buys more lawyers, more appeals, and, as a result, potentially better verdicts. Although not always the case, the debate is alive and well in America. However, the second idea—that third-party litigation financing matters—is a stickier one.

Third-party litigation financing has existed in some form since the 1980s.1 Personal injury victims, for example, have long been known to accept cash advances from loan agencies while their lawsuits are pending. Furthermore, lenders have been known to share equally in claims, once recovered, as investors.

However, as large-scale litigation increases in America, so has the phenomenon of third-party litigation investors. When several millions of dollars are at stake, new stakeholders tend to appear.

According to the “Report on the Ethical Implications of Third-party Litigation Funding,” submitted by the 2013 Ethics Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the NY State Bar Association, there were six corporations in 2012 that invested in commercial lawsuits in the United States.2 Of the publically-traded corporations among these six, two existed primarily for the purpose of investing in American commercial litigation. The others—private companies—listed little to no information about their investments.

Today, the phenomenon has reached a new scale. Larger companies, even those with in-house counsel, are starting to sell off pieces of lawsuits so that they can smooth out cash flow and offload risk, prompting The New York Times to ask, “Should You Be Allowed to Invest in a Lawsuit?

With that question in mind, the aforementioned article cites Juridica Investments, a Miami-based fund with $650 million under management, which specializes in working with Fortune 500 companies and aligning the interests of plaintiffs’ lawyers with those of their clients.

“You want the largest recovery, in the shortest time, with the least uncertainty,” explains Chief Executive Richard Fields.

But, hedging your litigation bets doesn’t stop at large corporations. Smaller companies use litigation financing to finance growth with their future award serving as a credit line. For investors, litigation financing of BigLaw is a big opportunity.

On the attorney side, there are potential downsides to accepting third-party litigation funding (TPLF). The New York Bar Association issued a formal opinion, for example, listing the following as potential pitfalls of TPLF, including:

  • the potential illegality of the TPLF arrangement;
  • issues with the attorney failing as an advisor;
  • possible conflicts of interest;
  • failure to obtain a waiver of privilege; and
  • losing control over the proceeding. 

Enter, Gawker.

On Friday, Gawker Media told employees that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a result of Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel’s third party funding of several lawsuits against the company.

“The decision came after the Hon. Pamela A.M. Campbell of Pinellas County, Florida denied Gawker’s request to stay the enforcement of a $50 million bond that would allow it to appeal the $140 million verdict that a 6-person jury awarded Hulk Hogan in March,” writes J.K. Trotter for Gawker in the post, “Gawker’s post, “Gawker Media Is Filing For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, Will Be Put Up For Sale.

In a statement by parent company Gawker Media Group, CEO Nick Denton said:

“Authentic writing, whether it takes the form of honest reviews of technology, video games and entertainment, or revelations about the way the system works, is more important than ever. We have been forced by this litigation to give up our longstanding independence, but our writers remain committed to telling the true stories that underpin credibility with our millions of readers. With stronger backing and disentangled from litigation, they can perform their vital work on more platforms and in different forms.” 

Now, some sources are suggesting that Gawker may take legal action against Peter Thiel, who was secretly funding the former wrestler Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker (he was eventually outted).

“The lawyers are exploring whether this could be a case of tortious interference, racketeering, or other potential claims,” a source at Gawker told Forbes.

The ethics of third-party litigation funding are certainly debatable, although the legality of it remains in a State-by-State chokehold. Maine, for example, requires that litigation finance companies register with the state and include specific funding provisions, while Ohio has a law requiring all contracts to state that the third-party investor “shall have no right to and will not make any decision with respect to the conduct of the underlying civil action or claim or any settlement or resolution thereof.”

Where decisions about third-party litigation funding go from here is a matter for the courts. But, for your law firm, it’s time to brush up on your own ethics opinions.

Third-party investors aren’t the sole source of stress in the legal profession. Difficult clients can be an equal burden. So if you don’t already have a policy or plan in place, consider taking The Center For Competitive Mangement’s course, “Dealing with Difficult Clients: Proven Strategies to Limit Problems, Avert Disagreements, and Ethically Handle Problem Clients.

During this power-packed session, you’ll also learn how to deal with difficult clients and manage conflict, without sacrificing your sanity or your self-respect. Go here for more details.

In the end, the match-up between Peter Thiel and Gawker Media may not have a clean finish. It seems both sides are just beginning to grapple in what is both an ethical and legal fight to the death—which, after filing for bankruptcy, may be literally true in Gawker’s case.

 

-WB

References:

  1. Shepherd, Joanna M., Ideal versus Reality in Third-Party Litigation Financing, 8 J.L. ECON. & POL’Y 593 (Spring 2012).
  2. Shepherd, supra note 2 at 594.

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Twitter Nightmares: Mitigating Social Media Risk & Compliance For Employers

This week, Bloomberg reported that Snapchat’s daily active users, at 150 million, had surpassed that of Twitter. Twitter doesn’t disclose its number of daily active users (which is estimated at around 140 million daily active users by external surveyors), so it has yet to confirm the metric. Nevertheless, major business headlines seem concerned; Forbes wrote today, “Is Snapchat Threatening Twitter?”

And, it’s enough for litigators to realize that Twitter, with a whopping 310 million monthly users, like other social media sites, makes up an important market.

From safety to theft to libel, social media is hotbed of lawsuits.

Just today it was announced that social media mogul Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter and Pinterest pages were compromised after a hacker or hacking group named “OurMine Team” temporarily pirated Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s accounts.

Zuckerberg, who hasn’t tweeted since 2012, apparently sent a tweet today reading, “Hey, [Mark Zuckerberg], You were in [the] Linkedin Database with the password ‘dadada’! DM for proof.”

LinkedIn settled a consolidated class action lawsuit stemming from a June 2012 data breach that compromised 6.5 million hashed passwords in 2014, for which we can only assume Zuckerberg was victim. It has since been required to implement data security protocols using the industry standard encryption methods of salting and hashing for at least five years.

This is not the first time Twitter has made the news (or the docket).

Back in 2009, Amanda Bonnen took part in the first ever twitter-related lawsuit. In it, Horizon Realty Group contended that Bonnen defamed Horizon by tweeting to her friends about the apartment she rented from them, “You should just come anyway. Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it’s ok.” Horizon alleged this was libel and demanded at least $50,000. Eventually Horizon’s suit was dismissed on the grounds the tweet was too vague to meet the definition of libel.

Since then, tweets have made up a major concern for companies. Reputation and revenue are on the line in 40 characters or less.

In a similar incident, Chipotle was recently sued for firing employee, James Kenney. The 38-year-old war veteran sent a negative comment about the restaurant via Twitter. According to Philadelphia Magazine, Kennedy’s tweet read, “@ChipotleTweets, nothing is free, only cheap #labor. Crew members make only $8.50hr how much is that steak bowl really?”

Unfortunately for the food chain, U.S. Labor Laws protect employees’ rights to free speech, and a Philadelphia judge ruled that Chipotle needed to rehire Kennedy—with back pay.

Employees’ social media activities frequently play an important role in workplace investigations. Yet, when investigating harassment, discrimination or other employee-related claims employers must be aware of specific laws that restrict employers’ requests (and access to) an employee’s social media accounts and posts.

Fifteen states have passed laws that limit the employer’s authority over employees’ social media accounts, and many more are not far behind. No matter how serious the investigation, one peek at an employee’s social media account could become a costly, non-compliance nightmare.

If your firm doesn’t already know best practice solutions for conducting workplace investigations legally and effectively, now is the time.

Attend the Center for Competitive Management’s audio conference, “Workplace Investigations: Using Social Media Legally & Effectively while Limiting Risk” on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM Eastern and learn: 

  • Key restrictions under state social media laws
  • Legal pitfalls to avoid when conducting discrimination investigations in the workplace
  • How to conduct compliant discrimination/harassment/threat/defamation investigations
  • When you can and cannot ask for an employee’s passwords
  • What employee conduct the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) protects and the finer points of the guidelines it has provided.
  • Employee privacy dangers and what defines a ‘Reasonable Expectation of Privacy’
  • Discussion of cases where social media was misused
  • Broader implications for using social media in applicant screening/hiring
  • What multi-state employers must consider when drafting social media policies for investigations
  • Steps to take right away to be sure your current social media and investigation practices and policies are compliant 

And afterward, go ahead and tweet about it. You’re covered.

 

-WB

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