Using Facebook in Employment-Related Litigation

02/15/2013 // Dallas, Texas, United States // Clouse Dunn LLP // Attorney Keith Clouse – Employment lawyer // (press release)

We’ve written before about the policies an employer needs to protect itself from exposure via social media, and we’ve discussed the consequences when an employee “Facebooks” about work. But, did you know that employment lawyers are now using social media to prove their cases?

Lawyers and judges continue to hash out the legal boundaries of what information is discoverable and what information can be protected. In the meantime, lawyers have used evidence gathered from social media websites to prove their cases. For example, a personal injury plaintiff who claims he is so hurt that he cannot walk can be wiped out by the discovery of online photos showing him waterskiing.

Social media evidence has been used in the employment law context, too. For instance, a plaintiff who alleged that she was sexually harassed may be ordered to disclose her Facebook postings since those can be used to demonstrate her mental state. Other plaintiffs may lose Family and Medical Leave Act cases because they post pictures of themselves dancing at festivals or vacationing in Mexico while on leave for medical problems.

Bottom line: Individuals should always be careful about what they post. And, employers involved in employment-related litigation should almost always seek access to an individual’s social media activities. To speak to a Dallas Texas employment lawyer, send an email to [email protected] or call (214) 239-2705.

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