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07 June 2011

Richards and Korbin Feature in Articles on Social Media

Farris Partners Don Richards and Mike Korbin were featured in articles on social media and employment in the National Post and the Vancouver Sun.

The National Post article, “New Age, New Problems,” and the Vancouver Sun article, “Social media explosion sparks debate among employers,” both reference a recent Vancouver Board of Trade seminar at which the two presented.

Polls show that three-quarters of Canadian employees regularly use social networking sites while on the job and nearly half, 45 per cent, of hiring managers use them to vet job candidates.

Don Richards, who advised on what is thought to be Canada’s first Facebook-related termination, outlined recent examples of workplace social media and technology cases.

These included the case of a New Brunswick woman who had filed a civil lawsuit for injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident. Counsel for the defendant found pictures of her on the “public” portion of her Facebook profile showing her engaging in strenuous physical activity while on a “Zip Line”. The Plaintiff’s own lawyer was Ordered to engage another lawyer in his firm or an agent lawyer from elsewhere to supervise and verify the copying of all data on the Plaintiff’s Facebook profile including that in the “restricted access” area.

Another case involved a high-profile trial of a Sudbury, Ont. school teacher, who used his work laptop to store sexually explicit images of a Grade 10 student.

Mike Korbin recommended that employers consider establishing an appropriate-use policy - one that lets employees know in clear language what is expected of them in terms of their online conduct, and discourages them from making potentially harmful work-related posts. But he cautioned against borrowing another’s organization’s policy. “There is no ‘cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all’ policy,” he said. “You have to think of the nature of your business, the culture of your organization, and the resources at your disposal.”

To view the article in the National Post, please click here.

To view the article in the Vancouver Sun, please click here.

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