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Employment Law Myths Debunked #1. Can I control employee's LinkedIn Accounts?

In a series of 5 articles Annie Gray addresses 5 common employment law myths. In this first article Annie looks at the often contentious area of an employee's LinkedIn contacts

Myth 1 - My employees have LinkedIn accounts but I can’t control whether they “link-up” with my clients and what they do after they leave

Yes you can.

LinkedIn’s user agreement states, amongst other things:

  • that users are responsible for what happens on their account;
  • must keep their password secure and confidential;
  • must not permit others to use their account; and,
  • must not transfer their account to another party

This will make it difficult for you to assert ownership over an employee’s LinkedIn account and/or control what happens on it. However, within an employee’s employment contract, you are able to assert control over an employee’s use of social media accounts. This could include inserting additional provisions in restrictive covenants controlling the use they make of social media accounts and/or including contractual clauses dealing with the ownership of contacts made on social media accounts and requiring the deletion of contacts upon termination of employment.

Whilst of course the value of these clauses will depend on an employee’s compliance with them and will not prevent a rogue employee simply ignoring them, having them in place will put you in a much stronger position to be able to take action to enforce these clauses against a rogue employee later.

If you would like more information regarding the use of social media in the workplace speak to one of our employment solicitors on 0113 220 6270. Find out more about our employment services here.

About the Author

Annie Gray

Associate

Primarily acting for employers and senior executives, Annie advise PLC's, private limited companies,…

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