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Lynne Bernabei and Alan Kabat Touch on Social Media’s Role in Employment Law

Social media is always in the news, and it is becoming increasingly important in employment law, due to the intersection between employees’ use of social media and employers’ desire to control the workplace. In June, Lynne Bernabei gave a presentation at the annual meeting of the National Employment Lawyers Association, which covered (1) the use of social media in hiring decisions; (2) laws regulating employers’ monitoring of employees’ electronic communications; (3) employees’ use of workplace computers and email to obtain legal advice; (4) an employee’s right to privacy (or lack thereof) in his or her postings on social media websites; and (5) an employer’s ability to use social media in making decisions about current employees. On July 23, 2012, the National Law Journal published an opinion piece by Lynne Bernabei and Alan Kabat. This opinion piece discussed and critiqued the legislative efforts by Congress and the state legislatures to enact laws that would regulate or prohibit employers from accessing the personal or private sections of employees’ and job applicants’ social media sites, and analyzed the shortcomings of much of the proposed legislation.