When an Employee Leaves, Who Owns Their Social Media Accounts?
In the article, “When an Employee Leaves, Who Owns Their Social Media Accounts?” featured in TLNT, Partner Art Lambert discusses how to proceed when your social media manager moves on to another organization.
At the very least, employers should have a social media policy, covering the ownership of and access to business-related social media accounts, as well as all information and communications associated with the accounts.
Employees should sign the policy, or at least a handbook acknowledgment if the policy is contained in a handbook. The policy should make clear that any posting on company social media is the property of the company, as are the accounts, names, etc. associated with the accounts.
Further, the policy should be clear that when an employee leaves, all account information and communications should be transferred to the company. It also should describe what, if any, information the company considers confidential. This way, when an employee leaves, the account information stays with the company.
Employers should also consider putting language regarding the ownership of social media accounts in the "Confidentiality" section of an employment agreement.
Proactive drafting of policies and agreements concerning social media accounts will let employees know where they stand when they leave the company and will give the company extra ammunition in the event of a fight over these increasingly valuable accounts.
To read the full article, please visit TLNT.
This article was picked up by Ragan on March 29, 2016.