Be Aware of Liabilities with Employee Blogging
Blogs are booming. Most have nothing to do with the workplace, though disgruntled employees or ex-employees increasingly are using blogs to lash out at an employer, supervisor or co-worker or to post confidential information or trade secrets. How should employers deal with this new employment issue? Employers have wide latitude in restricting such conduct where necessary to avoid a conflict of interest with any responsibilities to the employer or even the appearance of such a conflict. Blogging often presents such a conflict. To clarify the limits placed on employees, many employers are implementing blogging policies. Today's employer must be mindful of the often delicate balance between protecting its own legitimate business interests versus an employee's right to engage in lawful off-the job activities. By the same token, employees should be careful not to use their blogs in violation of employer policies or at the risk of exposure to claims for defamation or invasion of privacy. As with most employer-employee issues, a dose of common sense goes a long way.
This article appeared in the November 21-27 2008 issue of the Denver Business Journal.