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Everyone seems to be using social media these days for some reason or another. There are some things to remember before you tweet, blog and post. Social media lawsuits are the latest trend in employment-related lawsuits and can include allegations of defamation, invasion of privacy and workplace bullying.

Here are a few examples according to Monitor Underwriters

Third Party/Defamation
At a business association networking event, an executive takes a video of a competitor drinking excessively and dancing on a table. The executive posts the video on a video sharing Web site with a cruel message about not doing business with his competitor. The employee in the video loses her job and sues the executive and his company for defamation.

Workplace Bullying
An employee at a hotel posts harsh words on a newly hired employee’s social network page, stating that the new employee is incompetent and lazy. Fellow employees “Like” the post, and add additional comments and threats about the new employee. The new employee sues the hotel for not preventing workplace bullying or a hostile work environment.

Defamation
A waitress in an upscale restaurant served a celebrity patron dinner. After receiving a less than desirable tip from the patron, the waitress wrote on a micro-blogging Web site that the celebrity had one too many cocktails, was rude to her throughout dinner service and left a meager tip. The waitress’ post was picked up by a celebrity blogger and soon was all over entertainment Web sites. The celebrity patron sued the restaurant for defamation.

Invasion of Privacy
An employee at a manufacturing company has a confrontation with his manager in front of other employees. Later that day, the employee posts about the confrontation on his blog, calling his manager a “jerk” and notes how much better the company would be if the manager got fired. The employee also speculates the only reason that his manager has a job is because she is dating a vice president in the company. Management is notified about the blog, and the employee is given a warning about conduct and moved to another department. The employee perceives the department change as a demotion and sues the company, stating invasion of privacy.

There are many good insurance products that can protect your firm, contact LaPorte or your agent today.

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