On June 7, our Toronto office’s Employment & Compensation Group hosted #SocialMediaAtWork, a seminar to discuss the ongoing challenges that social media presents to employers and to help inform and update best practices around social media.

For instance, is your company’s social media policy up to date? Does it clearly state what’s permissible/not permissible and what may happen if the policy is  breached?

And if an employee posts inappropriate content on a personal account outside of work hours, what recourse does the employer have? Can the employer be liable for an employee’s social media posts?

“Vicarious liability for an employee’s conduct on social media is a real concern for employers,” said Partner Bill Watson. “Ultimately, having a policy that’s appropriate, training on that policy and updating it at least yearly will go a long way. Being able to prove those due diligence steps may be a defence to a claim of vicarious liability.”

Joining Bill on our panel was Partner Andrew Shaw along with Associates Jesse Freeman, Claire-Marie Colantuoni, Chris Burkett and Jennifer Bernardo. Each focused on a specific aspect of social media risk for employers, from online gambling via social channels to properly educating new hires on social media policies and knowing what steps to take if an employee breaches a policy.

Bill says our E & C Group has had an exceptional response to their blog articles regarding social media and recognize that many employers are looking to get up to speed in this area.

“Clients are increasingly coming to us with questions about how they should respond to specific incidents of social media misuse by their employees,” Bill said. “We planned the event to guide them through the main risk areas and give practical guidance to help minimize their risk exposure. We also regularly assist clients who are looking for proactive measures to help avoid such incidents. It’s definitely a growing concern.”

Below are highlights from the discussion and stay tuned for future seminars on other hot topics: