In the modern wireless world, businesses are always connected. Whether it be through email, web conferences, or phone calls, employers and employees can connect 24 hours a day. Further, work product can be delivered to customers conveniently at any hour of the day. However, with increased online presence comes increased risk with high stakes for organizations. This risk is amplified when a lawsuit strikes, putting your company’s electronic habits on full display.
Follow these Human Resources (HR) tips to help minimize liability and exposure in the event of a lawsuit:
- Employ a company-wide policy regarding internet use.
This policy should set out clear guidelines for what can (and cannot) be done on company equipment so that there is a clear understanding of the ramifications for abuse on all platforms. Consult with a professional, such as an employment law attorney, to ensure that your policy addresses potential legal pitfalls.
- Conduct training sessions with specific scenarios.
Many policies are forgotten without reminders and real-life examples. Invest in comprehensive training sessions so that issues do not arise in the long term.
- Do not use internal “chat” functions to discuss confidential matters.
Many businesses have adopted platforms with chatroom options, such as Skype for Business, to streamline daily communication. Internal communication platforms catalog and archive communications/chats. When a lawsuit is initiated, these communications may likely be fair game for production to the other side.
- Do not email anything that you would not like to see on the front of a newspaper.
When a lawsuit strikes, most emails are subject to disclosure in discovery. There are exceptions for communications with attorneys (this protection is not infinite) as well as other limited circumstances. It may seem “obvious” however leaning against putting potentially offensive or crass opinions regarding other employees or competitors in writing is a wise choice.
Want to make sure that you prevent technological issues before it is “too late?” Feel free to email or call me to discuss an approach for your company’s technology policy.
ABOUT THEODORA STRINGHAM
firstname.lastname@example.org | 703-745-1849
Theodora Stringham assists individuals, businesses, and organizations with growing successfully while minimizing liability. Focusing on real estate and personnel needs, Ms. Stringham executes sustainable plans for real estate development and employee matters. She provides comprehensive representation for everyday growth issues, including, but not limited to, re-zonings, site plan approvals, eminent domain/valuation concerns, employment discrimination, and disciplinary issues. Ms. Stringham’s scope of representation ranges from identifying potential liability and providing counseling/trainings, all the way through representation at trial.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the mid-Atlantic region. With over 185 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our twelve offices serve individual and corporate clients along the I95 corridor in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
Find out why Offit Kurman is The Better Way to protect your business, your assets and your family by connecting via our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages. You can also sign up to receive LawMatters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.
MARYLAND | PENNSYLVANIA | VIRGINIA| NEW JERSEY | NEW YORK | DELAWARE | WASHINGTON, DC