Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Apr 09, 2013

Does your non-solicitation agreement contemplate social media?

 
In recent years, many employers have encouraged employees to join LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites in order to connect with potential customers and increase public awareness of their company. But have you thought about the consequences when those individuals, who are connected to hundreds if not thousands of your customers, leads, and referral sources, leave your employment?
In recent years, many employers have encouraged employees to join LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites in order to connect with potential customers and increase public awareness of their company. But have you thought about the consequences when those individuals, who are connected to hundreds if not thousands of your customers, leads, and referral sources, leave your employment? When they post a message to their contacts that theyve joined a great new company, will they be encouraging their contacts to become a customer of the new company and leave you in the dust? Under current labor and employment laws, is there anything you can do to prevent a former employee from posting on the social media sites that you once encouraged them to join?

The answer is yes. Many employers already use non-solicitation agreements for certain employees who may be in a position to take customers with them when they leave employment. A non-solicitation agreement, which employees would sign when they are first hired, restricts an individuals ability to contact or solicit your customers and potential customers once the individual no longer works for you. Non-solicitation agreements often contemplate turning over customers lists, business cards, and email contact lists, but they hardly ever address the social media world. If you want to restrict an employees ability to connect with your customers and referral sources once theyve left your employment, then you should include a specific provision in your non-solicitation agreement that addresses the issue. Interested in further discussion on social media and employee relations? Contact Vigilant for help with this topic and follow our blog to learn more about other employment law issues.

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